(Springfield--jc) The tax deadline is almost here and one fact to know is that Illinois taxpayers paid a higher percentage of their income in taxes than residents of all but eight other states, and that was before the most recent income tax hike. Using 2017 income tax data and the latest property, sales and excise taxes, financial data firm WalletHub found that Illinoisans paid 9.67% of their annual income in local and state taxes. This also considers that Illinois residents earn a median income that’s $2,600 higher than the average American. WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez said Illinois’ property taxes are the main driver.


(Urbana--jc) Urbana police are seeking information about a car vs pedestrian

fatality that happened just before 4 Thursday afternoon. Police say a pedestrian was struck at the corner of Main and Vine in Urbana when the pedestrian was struck by a truck. Authorities are seeking information from anyone who may have seen the accident. The driver of the vehicle was questioned. Those with any information may call Urbana police.


Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup is releasing the name of an Urbana,  woman who has died as a result of injuries sustained after being struck by a motor vehicle near the intersection of Main Street and Vine Street in Urbana on Thursday  49 year old Shelly Taylor of Urbana died at Carle Foundation Hospital . An autopsy has been scheduled for later today at the Champaign County Coroner’s Regional Autopsy Facility. This death is being investigated by the Champaign County Coroner’s Office and the Urbana Police Department.


(Washington--ba)-Presidential candidates will have to make their tax returns public under legislation passed by the Senate. The bill requires candidates running for President and Vice President to release their income tax returns if they want to appear on the ballot in Illinois. It’s sponsored by Senator Tony Munoz of Chicago.



Senator Tony Munoz of Chicago



(Normal--jc)  With a demonstration earlier this week, two American Federation of State County and Municipal Union members at Illinois State University continue to look for a new contract. The two unions, representing more than 500 workers have been working without a contract since last June. The Pantagraph reports that a meeting between the union and the university will take place next week.



(Washington--ba)-Students may soon be learning about hunting safety under a bill passed by the house. The measure allows schools to offer curriculum about safe hunting practices to students. It’s sponsored by Representative Monica Bristow of Alton.



Representative Monica Bristow of Alton


(Springfield--jc)  -- Noncitizen students and transgender individuals not eligible for federal student loan aid because they’ve failed to register for the selective service would be able to access tuition assistance in Illinois under a plan passed by the House.  State Representative, Elizabeth Hernandez, Democrat from Chicago, has the Retain Illinois Students Act which would give Monetary Award Program money to noncitizen students who have not obtained lawful permanent residence. Hernandez says they are residents of Illinois.



CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Aspiring student entrepreneurs from Parkland College will soon pitch their ideas before local venture capitalists, startup experts and community members as they vie for 3 thousand dollars in seed money. Parkland College's Entrepreneurial Network   will hold its first-ever CobraVenture Pitch Showcase Monday, May 20, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. in the Parkland College Student Union. The contest will highlight students from the CobraVenture program's pilot student accelerator lab, which launched in January.


(Gibson CIty--jc)  It’s a baseball theme for one local fundraising event tonight in Gibson City. the Gibson Rotary Club is hosting the “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”  fundraiser at the Sand Trap on Route 9 in Gibson City. Tickets for prizes, music and a meal are 25 dollars. The festivities begin at 5-30. The band Libido Funk Circus will perform.



(Paxton--jc)  -- At the Paxton IGA cookout tomorrow it’s Ribeye Sandwiches, chips and pop. Profits from the cookout go to the Prairie Champions 4-H Club. The cookout runs from 10am until 2pm

(Washington--ba)-Less than 4 days are left to file your taxes. Taxes need to be filed by Monday, April 15th, and help is available if you need it says Illinois Department of Revenue spokesperson Terry Horstman.



Illinois Department of Revenue spokesperson Terry Horstman


(Champaign County--jc)  -- Rural Sidney yes and rural Ludlow no. A site near Sidney was chosen for a rural solar site. A 37 acre tract of farmland near Ludlow was not. 1 thousand sites proposed to net the solar projects, but only 10 percent  could see that happen with the Future Energy Jobs Act. The News Gazette says the Sidney a 2-megawatt project is the only one in Champaign County. Forefront Power is the project leader.



(Washington--ba)-The 2017 Census of Agriculture looks for the first time at farmers with military service. USDA’s Stephanie Ho reports.



USDA’s Stephanie Ho


(Washington--jc) --Two experts say the more farmers do to keep cropland soils in top condition, the less damage those fields will suffer from weather disasters. Gary Crawford reports…






(Springfield--jc)  -- Two area legislators have teamed up to sponsor legislation on behalf of Kankakee area leaders to allow for the expansion of the Kankakee River Conservancy District to help address the area’s destructive flooding issues. The Kankakee District already exists but contains only a small territory along the river, and does not cover a large enough portion of the flood basin to effectively mitigate flooding. A bill passed the House on Wednesday Sponsored by 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.  79th District State Representative Lindsey Parkhurst of Kankakee says the measure is a positive for the flooding issues…



79 District State Representative Lindsey Parkhurst of Kankakee

The bill is now in the hands of the Illinois Senate.


Pecatonica, IL – Illinois State Police  officials announce the arrest of Craig W. Dittmar  for his involvement in the March 28th, fatal crash which resulted in the death of Trooper Brooke Jones-Story. While inspecting a vehicle on Route 75, she was struck and killed


(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 tonight at 7 and Saturday afternoon at 2. Local Theatre Director Jessica Holmes is helping with the play.


(BUCKLEY-dg)-The Buckley Lion’s Club is hosting Bingo tonight at the Buckley American Legion Building. Bingo starts at 6:15 with sandwiches available at 5pm.



(Rantoul--jc)  - Its hunting for Easter Eggs time. The Rantoul Public Library is the venue for the Easter Eggstravaganza. The event with various age groups begins at 10 Saturday morning at the library.


(Champaign--jc)  Champaign Counties next free electronics recycling collection is set for May 18th. The event takes place from 8am until Noon at Parkland College. On line registration is going on now to bring items. Residents must go on line and get a ticket to participate.



The Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce and Insurance Providers Group of Paxton is hosting Bingo on Saturday evening from 6-8pm at St. Mary’s Catholic Church Parish Center.


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