KANKAKEE, Ill. (AP) — A 30-year prison sentence has been handed a northern Illinois man who pleaded guilty to setting a fire that killed two boys. In pleading guilty earlier this year, 65-year-old Alex Sawyer said he was upset a landlord didn't return his security deposit when he set the April 13, 2016 fire in Kankakee that killed brothers 4-year-old Justice Stewart and 2-year-old JuShaun Watson. Sawyer must serve 100 percent of the sentence Kankakee County Circuit Judge Kathy Bradshaw-Elliott handed down Wednesday.


CHICAGO (AP) — Attorneys general in 13 states, including Illinois, have filed a lawsuit challenging a Trump administration rule that'll allow immigration officials to deny green cards to migrants who use public assistance, including food stamps or housing vouchers. The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in federal court.


(Pontiac--jc)  106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City is helping with a Senior Health Fair in Pontiac this morning. The event  is set for 9am to 11am at the Pontiac Rec Center…



106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City

The event is in partnership with the Pontiac Parks and Recreation Department


(Springfield--ba)  --Governor JB Pritzker is signing legislation to expand insurance coverage for life saving treatments. One new law requires insurance companies to cover office visits and treatment for tick-borne diseases like Lyme disease. The second requires coverage of epi-pens for children with severe allergies. The cost of the pens has risen by more than 400 percent over the last decade says Governor Pritzker.



Illinois Governor JB Pritzker


(Gibson City--jc)  -- It’s time to cruise in Gibson City on Friday night. The monthly car cruise steps off at 6pm and runs through 10pm in the downtown area of the city. Organizers invite car enthusiasts to cruise and also area residents to park their cars and enjoy the monthly summer-time cruise. Dan Kearfott and his musical friends will perform. A cookout at the Gibson City American Legion, Queen of Hearts raffle and shaved ice and ice cream will also be available.


(Springfield--jc)  -- A Ford County youth won first place in the 8 to 10 year division in the Illinois Cream of the Crop photo contest. Paxton resident  Payton Luebchow won the contest with the picture called, “A Day’s Work”. Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs hosted a reception in the Illinois Department of Agriculture’s tent at the state fairgrounds to honor Luebchow and the other two first-place winners of the contest: Austin Kammeyer of Manito, who won first place in the 11-14 age division, and Tanner Mickey of Taylorville, who won first place in the 15-18 age division. 


(Ogden--jc)  Three vehicles with Champaign County residents were involved in a four car accident along Interstate 74 near Ogden on Wednesday morning. Police say a black vehicle with driver unknown, cut off a second vehicle while entering a construction zone causing the remaining 3 vehicles to crash at the site. Several injuries were reported, all with non-life threatening injuries. The driver of the black vehicle left the scene State Police say they are investigating the accident. The east-bound lanes were closed for several hours this morning as crews worked to clean up the accident scene.


(Watseka--jc)  It’s National Immunization Awareness month. WPXN’s Joel Cluver has the story..




ALTON, Ill. (AP) — A marker will be placed at a site in southern Illinois where the state's first soybeans were planted. Officials of the Illinois State Historical Society and others will be present when the marker is dedicated Aug. 23 in Alton. Dr. Benjamin Franklin Edwards traveled to San Francisco in 1849, where he helped shipwreck survivors from Japan. They reportedly showed Edwards their appreciation with a gift of "Japanese Peas." A friend of Edwards later planted the beans in his home garden.


(Springfield--jc)  -- Nearly every politician in Illinois wants to lower local property taxes, but a representative for school boards said sending more unfunded mandates to local districts that are largely funded through property taxes makes that goal harder to reach. As school bells ring for the first time, school boards know they must begin to prepare for a number of new requirements coming in the new school year, including a  higher minimum salary for teachers and statewide curriculum mandates for new civic education classes, lessons on the history of Illinois, L-G-B-T history and more. Ben Schwarm, deputy executive director at the Illinois Association of School Boards, said lawmakers consistently express support for lower property taxes, yet continue to send school districts mandates that will require adding staff or higher costs. 



(Ford County--ba)-- Ford County residents have until tomorrow to pay the first installment of property taxes. Ford County Treasurer Krisha Shoemaker says the time is now…



Shoemaker says the 2nd installment date is also coming soon...



Ford County Treasurer Krisha Shoemaker


(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois State Fair Grandstand concerts are bringing in more money than ever before. The concert series is proving to be a popular lineup this year, bringing in nearly two million, one hundred thousand dollars so far. Only about one thousand concert tickets need to be sold to break that record as well. Upcoming concerts include Old Dominion, Snoop Dogg and Shinedown. 


(Springfield-jm) -- The State Department of Public Health is confirming the presence of a rare tick-borne virus in Illinois. The Heartland Virus first popped up last year when a person in Kankakee County tested positive, and now ticks from that area appear to be carrying the virus. Public Health’s Samantha Debosik (duh-boe-sick) says if you get bitten by a tick, you should watch for these symptoms…



Illinois Department of Public Health’s Samantha Debosik. Those infected usually have to be hospitalized but most fully recover. Debosik recommends wearing light-colored long clothing when walking near tall grasses and shrubs where ticks like to hang out. Bug spray is also a good idea.


(Gibson City--jc)  Gibson City Melvin Sibley School board members are expected to approve several upcoming school fieldtrips when they meet on Monday night. The first is for the G-C-M-S F-F-A to a Decatur event set for August 28th and the second is a 5th grade field trip to LayFayette Indiana on October 4th. Two donations to the G-C-M-S football program in the amount of 500 dollars and 4 thousand dollars will be accepted by the board. Approving the upcoming school year budget is also an agenda item. The board meets on Monday night at 6-15.


(Fisher--jc)  -- Fisher Village board members are set to meet on Monday to discuss a liquor license proposal. In updating our story from earlier this month,  one local businessman is proposing to open a laundromat business, but also use a portion of the building for a video-gaming in a separate part of the building. The licquor license would be a pour only facility. A hearing on the matter was held this summer. 



(Cissna Park--jc)  -- Today is the first of 3 days for the Olds Settlers Celebration in Cissna Park. Swyear Amusements is on the midway for the entire run of the local event. A talent Show hilites activities on the main stage at 7 tonight. The celebration is sponsored by the Cissna Park American Legion Post 527. There is always “plenty of shade and water” at the Old Settlers Celebration in Cissna Park. Someone will win a new Ford 2019 vehicle at the conclusion of the celebration on Saturday night.


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