(Urbana--jc)  -- A Rantoul man was sentenced to 7 years in prison on Tuesday for a break in at the Rantoul Rural King Store last fall. A Champaign County judge sentenced Henry Boykins to the 7 year prison term. Boykin admitted to the break in of the Rantoul Rural King and also to stealing a gun. Two juveniles were also implicated in the break ins. Both have plead guilty. One has already been sentenced. The second is awaiting sentencing.



(Springfield--jc)  -- Advocates are trying again to pass a tobacco 21 law in Illinois. The measure, raising the age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21 passed last year…but was vetoed by the governor.  Illinois Senate president John Cullerton says he’s confident they can get it done this time around...



Illinois Senate President John Cullerton

The bill includes cigarettes, chewing tobacco, e-cigs and other tobacco products. 36 communities already have a tobacco 21 local ordinance.



(Washington--ab)  -- Deputy Agriculture Secretary Steve Censky explaining for a special Farm Foundation Forum in Washington, D.C., some of the complexities of implementing the new Farm Bill.




(Springfield--jc)  -- Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are putting up bills that set term limits for House Speaker or Senate President in Illinois. There are term limits for legislative leaders in the Illinois state Senate, and limits on how long someone can serve as a House GOP leader. But there are no limits on how long someone can serve in a leadership position for Illinois House Democrats. House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, has been the speaker for all but two years since 1983. He’s the longest-serving state House speaker in the country. That’s one reason for state Rep. Tim Butler’s move to limit how long someone can serve in that role. Butler says Madigan has served in the role since his was a Sophomore in High School. Butler is now 51 years old.



Parkland College Adult Education is now partnering with Salt & Light Ministries to offer a new district site in Urbana. Learners seeking to earn their GED or improve literacy and job preparation skills may attend free classes beginning Feb. 11 at the Urbana Salt & Light location, 1819 S. Philo Road. Classes will meet Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 9 a.m. to noon. This expansion of services will allow more students to be served by bringing educational opportunities into their community.Salt & Light is committed to fighting poverty with opportunities that empower people for lasting change, according to Terry Austira, the organization's director of education.

Contact Parkland College Adult Education at 217/351-2580 to learn more about these opportunities or sign up for classes.


(Melvin--jc)--  One Ford County Church has a 150th birthday coming up later this month. The Melvin United Methodist Church celebration is set for February 17th says church spokesperson Kay Swearingen…



Melvin United Methodist Church Spokesperson Kay Swearingen.


CHICAGO (AP) — The patriarch of the family behind the Chicago Cubs has apologized after an online media outlet published emails in which he took part in racist comments and conspiracy theories. Some of the emails Splinter News published Monday featured Joe Ricketts making Islamophobic comments. Others included conspiracies about former President Barack Obama's birthplace and education. Ricketts, who founded TD Ameritrade, apologized for the emails, saying he believes "bigoted ideas are wrong."


(Washington--jc)  -- President Donald Trump issued the state of the Union  address

Last night. Local Congressman Adam Kinzinger says the jobs market is a huge positive for the country…



16th District Congressman Adam Kinzinger.


(Springfield--jc)  -- School districts could see sharply higher costs as lawmakers consider not only boosting the state's minimum wage to $15 an hour over a number of years, but also a separate bill setting minimum pay requirements for teachers The Senate will take another crack at raising the minimum pay for Illinois teachers. Senate Bill 10 from Democrat State Senator Andy Manar of Bunker Hills, is similar to the bill that passed last year. That bill was  vetoed by then Governor Bruce Rauner. Rauner said pay practices should be left to locally elected school boards.With a new governor and Democratic supermajorities in both chambers, Manar got his bill through the Senate education committee Tuesday. The measure will not give more money to school districts..The School Management Alliance’s Zach Messersmith told committee members on Tuesday that they’d rather the state leave the issue to the school districts.


CHICAGO (AP) — An Illinois consumer-advocacy group is offering new tips for reducing those pesky computer-generated phone calls. Citizens Utility Board released its Guide to Fighting Robocalls on Monday. The guide is available for free through the organization's website. CUB says technology is allowing scam artists to make thousands of calls a minute, and the calls have reached an "alarming level." One estimate found there were a record 47.8 billion automated calls in 2018




CHICAGO (AP) — Shares in Archer Daniels Midland slid 5 percent after the company reported lower-than-expected profits as costs rise and a trade dispute with China drags on the price of commodities. The Chicago company reported fourth-quarter profit of $315 million, down sharply from the $788 million profit n the same quarter last year when it benefited from the Trump administration's tax overhaul.Archer Daniels Midland Co. had profit of 56 cents per share, or 88 cents per shares when one-time gains and costs are removed.



(Springfield--jc)  -- The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is awarding nearly 29 million dollars in local park grants. The money will fund 89 local park projects around the state says D-N-R Spokesperson Ed Cross…


Department of Natural Resources Spokesperson Ed Cross.


(Springfield--jc)--  Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker will need more money to balance the state's budget to the satisfaction of bondholders, credit rating agency Moody’s Investor Services said in a new report Tuesday. Pritzker has promised to bring a balanced budget when he addresses the General Assembly on February 20th . But that could be challenging because the governor won't be able to change the state's income tax system to a progressive structure by then. And growth in existing revenue sources will be "tepid," Moody's reported. Moody's analysts said the coming fiscal 2020 budget will have to address the state's pension contributions, which they noted are straining the budget even though the contribution is shortchanging liabilities, an operational deficit, and economic headwinds from the state's shrinking population.



(Washington--jc)  The U-S-D-A is rescheduling  reports that were delayed by the shutdown. Stephanie Ho has the dates…




(Loda-jc) -- A new restaurant is coming to a local golf course facility. Lakeview Golf Course officials say the Tin Cup Restaurant and Bar will open later this year in the golf course clubhouse. The operator of the new restaurant is Peggy Burton, who co-owned The Tin Pan restaurant in Paxton. Burton is working on the new restaurants menu and a grand opening is also planned in the near future.



(Flatville--jc)  -- One local school is setting up fundraisers for its Parent Teacher Organization.  A pizza night, movie night and garage sale are coming for the Prairieview Ogden school district this school year. The P-T-O plans to use the money  for sports uniforms and classroom needs.


(Gibson City--jc)  Some at Gibson City Melvin Sibley High School are ready to get their dance shoes on and also raise money. The annual “Dancing with the Stars” fundraisers is set for Saturday February 16th at the high school. Members of the G-C-M-S Dance Team will compete with a member of the community. Those entering the contest will be judged on performance, donations and crowd appeal. A Free will soup supper kicks off the event at 5pm on the 16th.

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