(Undated--jc)  It’s more than a windy Wednesday.  Wind gusts could reach 60 miles per hour today. Illinois State Police and other Emergency Agencies are urging  homeowners to secure loose objects. Motorists are advised to be extra careful and be aware of semis and larger vehicles moving on roads through the area. The peak time for winds is expected to be between 3pm and 4pm today. The official start to the Thanksgiving Holiday is 5pm today.  


(Rantoul--jc)  Another update on our stories about shootings in Rantoul. On Tuesday, November 26th,at approximately 09-15 am , Rantoul Police Officers were dispatched to the 200 block of Winding Lane. for multiple reports of shots fired. Officers arrived in the area and were directed to a residence that had been struck multiple times by bullets. A vehicle parked in the driveway of the residence had also been struck by a bullet. Officers learned the residence was unoccupied at the time. The home owner was contacted and responded to the scene.A shell casing and fired projectile were recovered from the scene.A witness reported seeing a dark-colored four-door vehicle driving in the area immediately prior to hearing gunshots.Detectives continue to investigate. Anyone with information about this incident should contact the Rantoul Police Department at (217) 893-5600, or Champaign County Crimestoppers at (217) 373-TIPS.


(Springfield-jm) -- Black Friday is the unofficial kickoff to the holiday shopping season and over the past decade, small businesses have taken a more active approach to sales over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Independent retailers highlight what they have to offer on Small Business Saturday, which is growing more popular. Over the past decade, Black Friday shopping has moved from the early morning hours of the Friday after Thanksgiving to the evening hours of the Thanksgiving holiday. For many retailers, the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is critical for their bottom line.


(Urbana--jc)  --Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup has released the name of a Mahomet,  man who has died after being involved in a motor vehicle crash in Champaign last week. 35 year old Kyle De Lap,was pronounced dead at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana, on Monday night. De Lap was reportedly traveling on Neil St. in Champaign, on November 20th. when his vehicle struck a pole at the intersection of Stadium Drive. Mr. De Lap died from complications of injuries he sustained during the crash. No autopsy will be performed. An inquest may be held. 



(Springfield-jm) -- With a new commission coming together to investigate how to change Illinois’ ethics laws, some lawmakers have outlined what they want to see happen amid federal corruption investigations involving lawmakers and lobbyists. In October, state Rep. Luis Arroyo, D-Chicago, was arrested and charged with bribing an unnamed state senator. Arroyo was a consultant for a firm that lobbies the city of Chicago. Arroyo pleaded not guilty  and resigned from the statehouse. The charges spurred reports of other lawmakers who also work as lobbyists and raised questions about conflicts of interest. Before leaving for the year, lawmakers passed measures that Gov. J.B. Pritzker said were important, such as creating a central database of lobbyists.


(Springfield-jm) -- Secretary of State Jesse White is urging the public to plan ahead if they are celebrating on Blackout Wednesday. The night before Thanksgiving has become quite the time to party and Secretary White wants to make sure that doesn’t include drinking and driving…



Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White. State and local police have increased patrols through the Thanksgiving holiday, looking for speeders, drunk drivers and more. 


(Gilman-jm) -- The Iroquois West School District has a new superintendent. The school board hired Angelo Lekkas to take over for Linda Dvorak who retired. Lekkas, who comes from Genoa-Kingston High School, will take over July 1st. Interim superintendent Robert Bagby will continue in that roll into Lekkas takes over.


(Gifford-jm) -- The Gifford State Bank will be sponsoring a lighted Christmas parade on December 8th. Gifford State Bank Parade Spokesperson Stacey Huls says they are looking for more parade entries…



Gifford State Bank Parade Spokesperson Stacey Huls. Activities begin at 4:30 pm with Christmas music being performed by local and a visit from Santa Claus with the parade beginning at 5pm going down Main Street.


(Gilman--jc)  -- The questions from farmers are  commodity program options in the 2018 Farm Bill. Also how to update program yields for covered commodities. Another is enrolling in Agriculture Risk Coverage or Price Loss Coverage programs.  Some answers may be found next week in Gilman and Piper City. Farmers can join the Ford and Iroquois County FSA teams for a workshop that will help clarify and guide you through the decision-making process for commodity programs in the 2018 Farm Bill. Workshops are set for Monday morning at 9 at the Ford Iroquois Farm Bureau in GIlman. Another workshop is set for the for the following  week in Gilman and the Piper City Community Building. 



(Paxton-jm) -- Ford County’s budget is looking to be in the red. The county is looking at a $119,000 deficit in the new fiscal year which begins December 1st. The county expects to bring in 4 point 024 million while spending 4 point 143 million.



(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is offering some reminders on how to protect your family and friends from foodborne illness this Thanksgiving. Generally, food shouldn’t be left out all day says Public Health Director Doctor Ngozi Ezike. Leftovers should be placed in small containers within two hours of serving and need to be consumed over the next few days…



Illinois Public Health Director Doctor Ngozi Ezike. Turkeys need about 24 hours for every five pounds to thaw in the fridge or you can place the bird in cold water, changing the water every 30 minutes. The turkey should be cooked to 165 degrees. 


(Springfield-jm) -- Recreational cannabis advocates expect shortages and “new iPhone” like lines when Illinois’ recreational cannabis law takes effect on Jan. 1.  The state’s recreational dispensaries will be able to open their doors at 6 am on Jan. 1, marking the first time residents can legally purchase cannabis and other THC-infused products. Pam Althoff, a former state senator and executive director of CBAI, said the roll-out of recreational cannabis in conjunction with broadening the list of state-approved medical marijuana treatments to include maladies like chronic pain is something of a “perfect storm” of demand growth. 



(Washington-jm) -- USDA analysts forecast more export sales to China, even without new trade deal. Gary Crawford has the details…



(Springfield-jm) -- Just eight days after a nonprofit organization founded by conservative commentator Glenn Beck requested it be lent a priceless, handwritten copy of the Gettysburg Address to display at a “pop-up” museum in Dallas, Texas, the staff at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum had the document packed and ready to move. The man who is said to have overseen and expedited that loan was fired in September by Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker, and the state’s Office of the Inspector General released a damning report revealing it recommended that termination. The report details that former ALPLM Executive Director Alan Lowe “mismanaged” the museum by lending one of five existing copies of the Gettysburg Address that was handwritten by President Abraham Lincoln – which is valued at $20 million – to Mercury One, “an inexperienced, unaccredited, and unknown museum.”


(Rantoul-jm) -- For the third day in a row Rantoul police are investigating a shooting in the village. Police were called to a report of shots fired on Winding Lane Tuesday morning. A vehicle and nearby house were struck but so far no injuries have been reported. Monday evening a teen was shot in the arm on Abram Drive. He was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Sunday night around 11, police received a report of shots fired in the area of St. Andrews Circle. Anyone with information is asked to call Rantoul Police or Champaign County Crime stoppers.



(Springfield-jm) -- The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal challenging a controversial state law that allows someone to be convicted of murder if a death occurs during the commission of another forcible felony, even if it is caused by someone else. The ruling means the Illinois law still stands, although at least two bills have been introduced in the state General Assembly to narrow how it’s applied.



(Springfield-jm) -- Starting January 1st, parking area operators will have to collect and remit tax from customers. Illinois Department of Revenue Spokesperson Sam Salustro says parking vendors need to be prepared for the new law…



Illinois Department of Revenue Spokesperson Sam Salustro. Taxes will be remitted monthly and go towards building projects at universities, state facilities and early childhood centers as part of the state’s Rebuild Illinois program.



(Gibson City-jm) -- County Market is considering adding video gaming to their Gibson City location. Niemann Foods, the parent company of County Market, approached the Gibson City council earlier this month seeking a Class A liquor license. Under Illinois law, establishments that want gaming machines must have a liquor license. The company would build walls and a door around the gaming area. They have rolled out similar plans at stores in Quincy and Taylorville. A vote on whether or not to grant the license will come in the near future.



(Springfield-jm) -- When lawmakers return to the state capitol for the spring session, one of the issues that will look to be addressed is ethics reforms. Local State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington says he feels more should have been done during the fall session…



53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington.


(Rantoul-jm) -- Rantoul police are looking for the suspect that stole a vehicle over the weekend. Police say a person left their 2012 Ford Edge running to warm up in their driveway near Maplewood and Kenneth. When they came back out the car was gone. Champaign Police found the vehicle following a hit and run. Anyone with information is asked to call Rantoul Police.



(Rantoul-jm) -- A Rantoul man who had been sentenced to probation for a shooting has been resentenced to 4 years in prison for violating terms of his probation. Weylin Williams pleaded guilty in October of 2016 for firing shots at a person in July 2015. Williams had twice been sentenced to probation for the crime. He was given credit for time served.



(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois State Fire Marshal’s office has some tips to help prevent fires in the kitchen this Thanksgiving. It’s a good idea to keep kids away from the stovetop and to not step away from food that’s frying, boiling or broiling says Fire Marshal Spokesperson J-C Fultz. He says turkey fryers should only be used outdoors…



State Fire Marshal Spokesperson J-C Fultz. Fultz says if a fire breaks out in the oven, keep the door shut and turn off the heat. Small stovetop flames should be smothered by sliding a lid over the pan and turning off the burner. 



(Springfield-jm) -- When the ball drops and ushers in the New Year, it will be legal to use recreational marijuana in Illinois, but there are still questions about the public health effects of the state’s new law. Proponents of the new cannabis law that will go into effect on Jan. 1 have said it will bring in millions of dollars in revenue from licensing and other taxes and will eliminate the human and financial costs associated with the war on drugs. The public health effects are less clear, a University of Illinois professor said. Even in the earliest states to approve recreational cannabis use for adults, the research is scanty. Doug Smith, director of IU’s Center for Prevention Research and Development says “With alcohol, we actually have really good information on dose response, so you'll start seeing these types of health statistics (about) levels of use,” Smith said. “So we actually have recommendations: You shouldn't exceed, you know, any more than three drinks for men or women shouldn't exceed one (drink) in a particular day. We have nothing like that for marijuana.”.



(Washington-jm) -- Many people insist on stuffing the turkey before cooking it, but food safety experts don't think that's a great idea. Gary Crawford has the details…



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