NEW YORK (AP) — Americans are commemorating 9/11 with mournful ceremonies, volunteering, appeals to "never forget" and rising attention to the terror attacks' extended toll on responders. A crowd of victims' relatives is expected at ground zero Wednesday, while President Donald Trump is scheduled to join an observance at the Pentagon. Vice President Mike Pence is to speak at the third attack site, near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Former President George W. Bush, the commander-in-chief at the time of the 2001 attacks, is due at an afternoon wreath-laying at the Pentagon.

Locally, The Ford County Republican Women and the Gov. Thomas Ford Chapter of the National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution are inviting the public to attend the annual 9/11 memorial service at the Paxton firehouse tonight. Music will be provided by PBL High School’s Panther Regiment marching band beginning at 5:30 p.m., followed by a ceremony at 6 p.m. The featured speaker will be Chief Edmund J. Enright, a retired deputy district chief from the Chicago Fire Department. The event is an opportunity to remember, recognize and honor first responders, including police officers, firefighters, ambulance personnel, EMS personnel, ERS personnel, paramedics and EMA volunteers.


(Watseka--jc) Watseka authorities are seeking the help of the public concerning a bank robbery that occurred around 10 Tuesday morning at the Iroquois Farmers State Bank in Watseka. Police say the suspect is a white male. He wore a black hat, black jacket, dark pants and a fake beard and was also armed with a handgun.The suspect left the bank on foot going northbound from the Iroquois Farmer’s State Bank. Anyone with information is asked to call the Watseka Police Department or Iroquois County Authorities at 815-432-4918.



(Springfield-jm) -- The state of Illinois is about to overhaul the way it provides health care to an estimated 74,000 of the state’s most vulnerable children and young adults, and the prospect of that is making many lawmakers and health care providers nervous. At issue is a plan by the Department of Children and Family Services to place all of the children under its charge into a single managed care health insurance program similar to those that now manage the bulk of the state’s Medicaid program by November 1st. It’s estimated 17,100 children in foster care, another 18,800 former foster children who still receiving health coverage from the state, plus another 38,200 children with special needs that qualify for federal Supplemental Security Income benefits will be involved. A hearing was held Tuesday in Springfield and many lawmakers present felt uncomfortable with what they were hearing and want to be kept informed as the scheduled start date approaches.



(Springfield-jm) -- A simple conversation could save a life - that's just one of the messages mental-health organizations are hoping to drive home on World Suicide Prevention Day. Mary Schuermann reports…




(Gifford-jm) -- Gifford village leaders are considering ways to reduce flooding in Werner Roessler Park and an area of south Park Street. Village trustees are considering a proposal to cut a ditch to redirect the directional flow of water more to the south. A cost estimate for the project came in between 12,500 and 15,000. Discussions will continue at a later date.


(Washington-jm) -- Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue continues to express optimism that Congress will approve the US/Mexico/Canada trade agreement. Gary Crawford has the details…




(Rantoul-jm) -- A meet and greet with the new director of the Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce will be held this week. The meet and greet with Amanda Vickery will take place from 4 to 6 pm Thursday at the chamber’s office in downtown Rantoul. Vickery takes over for Belinda Allen who left in July for a position in western Illinois.



(Springfield-jm) -- September is National Preparedness Month and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency has some advice to make sure your family is ready for a disaster. IEMA recommends involving the whole family is preparing for an emergency, taking into account the needs of children and pets. Kids can make their own kits with books, games and a stuffed animal. Spokesperson Rebecca Clark also suggests brushing up on your first aid and CPR skills…



IEMA Spokesperson Rebecca Clark. Clark says it’s also a good idea to have money saved to get you through a disaster and to get involved with community preparation efforts. 


(Springfield-jm) -- More than 24,000 private sector workers in Illinois have collectively stashed away more than $5 million in retirement savings since January as part of a new state program that increases access to retirement accounts for individuals whose employers do not already offer them. Illinois Secure Choice was created in 2015, requiring businesses with 25 employees or more to offer retirement savings plans or take part in the new program, which automatically enrolls workers in a state-created but independently managed retirement plan. The state treasurer's office and an appointed board of advisors oversee the program, however, it is managed by an independent financial services company which means the state cannot use the funds for any other purpose. Employees are  automatically enrolled with a default rate of 5 percent of the employee’s income withheld and there are no fees for employers to become part of the plan. California and Oregon offer similar retirement saving plans.



(Washington-jm) -- Farmers can sign up for the disaster program starting today. Gary Crawford has the details…



(Thomasboro-jm) -- The village of Thomasboro’s Emergency Services Disaster Agency could be receiving some new upgrades. Village trustees and the ESDA coordinator are looking at upgrades including purchasing a new tv, computer and antenna. Another proposal being considered is looking at operating the villages three emergency sirens remotely.


(Piper City-jm) -- The Ford County community of Piper City is working on updating and enforcing village codes. Several meetings have already been held on updating the codes. Among the changes so far are updating solicitor fees,eliminating Class B-E liquor licenses, changing the smoking device age from 18 to 21 and adding an ordinance regulating golf cart use.



(Paxton-jm) -- A new school year means new students and for some in the Paxton-Buckley-Loda School District, that also means a new building. Renovations and an addition were added to Clara Peterson Elementary over the past year. PBL Schools Superintendent Cliff McClure says they will be holding an open house for the public to see the new building later this month…


Paxton-Buckley-Loda Schools Superintendent Cliff McClure.



(Paxton-jm) -- Paxton Police have released their recent activity report. On September 7th, Donald Bickel was arrested for driving with a suspended license and ticketed for operating a non-highway vehicle on a roadway following a traffic stop at Pells and Taft. An officer that knew Bickel’s license was suspended saw Bickel driving a riding lawnmower. On September 9th, Laureano Medina of Rantoul was arrested for driving with no valid driver's license following a traffic stop at Railroad and Green.


(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Lottery is launching a new instant ticket to benefit homeless prevention programs. All proceeds from the new “Easy as 1-2-3” game will go towards rental and utility assistance as well as help for families facing eviction or foreclosure. Lottery Spokesperson Jason Schaumburg explains the game... 


Illinois Lottery Spokesperson Jason Schaumburg. Easy as 1-2-3 is just one of several specialty tickets offered by the lottery where all profits go towards certain causes.


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