(Springfield--jc) -- A bill sponsored by local state Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City deals with electronic monitoring in a community integrated living center or a state-operated developmental center. Representative Bennett says House Bill 3-44 also residents to used the surveillance system in their rooms. Co Sponsor State Representative Charlie Meier of Okawville says there is no cost to the state.…



State Representative Charlie Meier of Okawville


(Paxton--jc) --  The next step to place a 150 foot United States American Flag in Paxton on school property is complete. The Paxton Buckley Loda School board on Wednesday night agreed to lease the ground near the high school football field to the Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce for the project.



(Des Moines-Iowa)  -- The National Pork Producers Council's board of directors announced its decision to cancel World Pork Expo 2019 out of an abundance of caution as African swine fever  continues to spread in China and other parts of Asia. World Pork Expo, held each June at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, hosts approximately 20,000 visitors over three days, including individuals and exhibitors from ASF-positive regions. African swine fever affects only pigs and presents no human health or food safety risks. There is currently no vaccine to treat the swine disease.


(Springfield--jc)  -- A bill in the Illinois House would allow at-risk minors as young as 12 to independently get and take HIV prevention medication. The legislation would allow minors as young as 12 to see a doctor and receive contraceptives, including an HIV prevention drug, without the notifying or getting consent from a parent. Sponsoring state Rep. Lamont Robinson Jr. said the bill was designed to help at-risk youth with either abusive parents or no parents at all.



(Springfield--jc)  -- Lawmakers are trying again to raise the minimum salary for teachers in Illinois. The House passed a bill to gradually boost the base teacher salary over the next 5 years, up to 40 thousand dollars. The current minimum, set in the 1980s, is 11 thousand dollars annually. State Representative Katie Stuart of Collinsville says the hope is this bill be help address the state’s teacher shortage…



State Representative Katie Stuart of Collinsville.

A similar measure was vetoed by then Governor Bruce Rauner


(Rantoul--jc) Cadets at the Rantoul based Lincoln’s Challenge program are participating in a jobs-education fair today at the local campus. It’s a opportunity to look a job choices, college education to military options says Lincoln’s Challenge Public Relations Spokesperson Michael Comacha…



Lincoln’s Challenge Public Relations Spokesperson Michael Comacha.



(Kankakee--jc)  -- The future of one Kankakee County mall remains uncertain. The Kankakee Journal reports that a portion of the Northfield Square Mall may be razed as part of a redevelopment for the mall. The decision is in the hands of the Greater Waukegan Development Coalition. Owners of the property is Namdar Realty Group of New York.  



(Springfield--j)  The Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Pretrial Practices will host a series of public hearings as it works towards its final report and recommendations in December. The Commission recently released its preliminary report concerning pretrial reform in the Illinois criminal justice system. One hearing is set for Springfield on April 22 and another in Urbana at the I-L-E-A-S Training Center on May 6th.



(Farmer City--jc)  -- If you heard racing at the Farmer City Raceway on Wednesday morning there was a good reason. The University of Wisconsin-Stout S-A-E Baja team stopped by to use the track for practice and testing the Baja vehicle. The group was on their way to Tennessee for a competition with the Society of Automotive Engineers.


CHICAGO (AP) — Measles outbreaks across the country have prompted several Illinois health systems to pressure parents who haven't vaccinated their children to do so. Department of Pediatrics vice chairman Dr. Matthew Davis said Lurie Children's Hospital decided to step up its efforts to reach unvaccinated children because the current spread of measles. The Centers for Disease Control and recommends all children get two doses of measles vaccine, which it says is 97% effective. A measles outbreak occurred locally in Champaign County in January and February of this year.


(Paxton--jc)  -- Demolition work on a building in Paxton that was completely destroyed by a fire began this week.  The building owned by the Baier family in the city also housed numerous antique vehicles, and a vintage fire truck.


(Gibson City--jc)  -- Gibson City Fire Department volunteers helped with a garage fire in the city on Wednesday night. Firefighters were on the scene for several hours and had the blaze under control by 8-30 last night. No world on damage to the building was provided.


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – University of Illinois Director of Athletics Josh Whitman and his wife, Hope, have pledged a 100 thousand dollar donation to the construction of the Henry Dale and Betty Smith Center, the new state-of-the-art training facility for Fighting Illini Football. The gift will name a corridor in the building that recognizes all former letterwinners as the Josh and Hope Whitman Alumni Hall.Whitman joins a growing number of former Illinois football players who have made investments into the facility. Former offensive lineman Stu Levenick kicked off the fundraising with a $5 million gift. The project has also seen significant donations from, among others, the family of former offensive lineman Kai Anderson, former offensive linemen Bill Castonzo and Bob Noelke, and former wide receiver Chad Ruskey and former quarterback Rich Erickson.



(Springfield--jc) Illinois Governor JB Pritzker says his proposals that includes the shift to a graduated income tax  will help Illinois back on a better fiscal path. The issue is moving through the state legislature in Springfield…



Illinois Governor JB Pritzker



(Springfield--jc)  It’s “Work Zone Awareness Week” and the Illinois Department of Transportation wants motorists to “Drive Like You Work Here.” Drivers need to slow down, stay off their cell phones, obey the signs and be alert says Illinois Department of Transportation Spokesperson Guy Tridgell…



I-DOT Spokesperson Guy Tridgell

Big fines and jail time await those who do not follow the law. Each year in Illinois, more than 53 Hundred crashes occur in zones.



Changes could be coming to the state’s high school basketball tournaments. Officials with the Illinois High School Association currently are accepting feedback from school administrators across the state about a proposal to adjust the schedule of the organization’s state championship games. Under the plan, all four classes of girls would play in the state finals on a single weekend and all four classes of boys would play on the following weekend.I-H-S-A Assistant Executive Director Matt Troha says school leaders are looking to reinvigorate the state basketball tournament. The Boys tournament would fall on the first weekend of March to avoid the college tournament.



(Paxton--jc)  The Ford Town and Country Art Show is set for Sunday in Paxton. Organizer Shawn Fairchild says entries for school age children is free, for adults just a small charge…



Ford Town and Country Art Show Spokesperson Shawn Fairchild

The event starts at 2, Sunday afternoon at the Paxton Park District Building


(Washington--jc) U-S-D-A has a first look at corn planting locally and nationally. Stephanie Ho reports…




(Rantoul--jc)  -- The annual J W Eater Junior High School production is set for this weekend. The play is called Jolly Roger and the Pirate Crew. The performances are set for Friday night at 7 and Saturday afternoon at 2. Local Theatre Director Jessica Holmes is helping with the play.


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