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(Springfield-jm) -- Coronavirus cases continue to rise in Illinois. The count is now up to nearly 13 hundred cases, including 12 deaths. COVID-19 has been found in 31 Illinois counties so far. State Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike urges the public to keep following the stay at home order…

 

State Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike. If you need to go out, Ezike says you should stay six feet away from other people. The virus is transmitted via droplets when someone coughs or sneezes.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- With tens of thousands of Illinoisans out of work, experts warn that people applying for unemployment benefits need to be patient. Governor J.B. Pritzker issued an emergency order last week that shuttered all non-essential businesses statewide to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in Illinois. The move was a broad-stroke effort to tamp down the spread of the virus, according to public health experts. It has also exposed tens of thousands of Illinoisans to something they may have never experienced before: Applying for unemployment benefits. For those who have been laid off, perhaps the most important piece of advice is to stay calm. 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritkzer is working to get Illinois healthcare workers the protective gear they need to stay safe while treating patients. The Governor says as part of a new partnership, the Illinois Manufacturers Association will help coordinate companies that want to donate or produce personal protective equipment…

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritkzer. Additionally, the state is purchasing millions of units of gear. Governor Pritzker says Illinois has received only a fraction of supplies that were requested from the federal government. 

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- A Dewey man has been arrested on child sex abuse charges. 46-year-old Joshua Andrew Stover faces four counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a child. Police say incidents occured on March 7th and 8th at a Rantoul motel. He was taken to the Champaign County Jail. Bond was set at $500 thousand. If convicted he faces up to 14 years in prison.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- Carle is announcing they are adjusting hours for primary care doctors and labs amid the COVID-19 outbreak. The group says non-essential appointments are being rescheduled. Lab service hours in Rantoul are being reduced. Those needing lab services will be able to do so between 7 and 11:30 am and 1 and 3:15 pm. Lab services at Carle Foundation Hospital and Carle Hoopeston Regional will not be affected. Carle locations in Watseka, Cissna Park, Rossville and Milford could reduce their hours depending on the patient's schedule.

 

 

(Washington-jm) --  It's going to be hard to forecast food price inflation this year due to some fairly new wild cards being dealt. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

 

(Monticello, Indiana-jm) -- A popular family amusement park may re-open this year after all. Apex Parks Group which owns Indiana Beach announced they have interest from several potential buyers after the group announced the closure of the 90 year old vacation destination last month.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Gibson City police have released their recent activity report. On March 20th, Bryan Brandon of Gibson City was arrested for resisting a peace officer and criminal trespass. On March 22nd, Steven Price of Gibson City was arrested for aggravated domestic battery.

 

 

(Gibson City--jc)  A help line is now operational for questions from Illinoisans concerning the coronavirus pandemic. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City says several departments and groups are available with answers…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

 

(Undated--jc)  -- Senior citizens, people with disabilities and low-to-moderate income families can get free income tax preparation and filing assistance for their 2019 state and federal tax returns. The Illinois Department of Revenue and the American Association of Retired Persons have partnered to set up a network of volunteers who can help. The program is open to people making 56 thousand dollars a year or less and people 60 years of age and older. People with disabilities and taxpayers who speak limited English are also eligible for help.300 locations are set up around the state to help with taxes

 

 

(The Center Square) –  We remember the wet spring in 2019 and the  delayed corn and soybean planting across Illinois. The numbers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture on  production declined from 2018 in all regions and most counties of the state.The forecast is looking better for 2020, though, says Reid Thompson, with Hertz FarmManagement of Mahomet.  Thompson says that the winter months – December, January and February – were unusually warm and dry, making it possible for farmers to till fields and prepare them for planting earlier than normal. When the anticipated wet spell ends, farmers will be able to move directly to planting. The prediction does not mean a perfect year to plant and profitability always depends on market conditions. 

 

 

(Paxton-cf)-- During the COVID-19 Pandemic, Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold wants all area businesses to reach out to City Hall.  The reason is to let them and the public know about goods and services provided by local businesses... 

 

 

Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold 

 

 

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois General Assembly on Monday began its second week of shutdown due to the spread of COVID-19, and officials said it is still uncertain when, or under what circumstances, the session will resume. Officials in the offices of Senate President Don Harmon and House Speaker Michael Madigan said Monday that conversations have been taking place among legislative leaders and their respective caucuses, but as of yet no decision has been made. The last day lawmakers met was Thursday, March 5. 

 

 

(Iroquois County-jm) -- Iroquois County Sheriff’s police have released their recent activity report. On March 18th, timothy Masterson of Bourbonnais was arrested on an outstanding warrant for theft. On March 17th, Terry Blair Jr of Gilman was arrested for criminal trespass to property and Alisha Manzke of Loda was arrested for domestic battery. On March 13th, Timothy Felton of Champaign was arrested on an Iroquois County warrant for unlawful possession of a stolen credit or debit card. On March 12th Chase Kakala of St. Anne was arrested on a warrant for theft and Bailey Caldwell of Monee was arrested on an Iroquois County warrant for possession of a controlled substance.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Visitors to the Ford County jail and courthouse will be limited. The move comes over COVID-19 fears. The jail and courthouse will only be open to essential personnel. Litigants and attorneys who have court ordered by the Judge will also be allowed.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Brazilian beef imports are once again allowed, but not without heightened inspections. Stephanie Ho has the details…

 

 

 

(Fisher-jm) -- The Fisher Area Business Association is joining the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce. It cost the group $5,000 to join. To help in the efforts, the village of Fisher is donating $2,000 and Fisher National Bank is donating $500. The rest of the cost will be covered by contributions from the business community.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Congressman Adam Kinzinger is authoring a bill to save rural hospitals. The Rural Hospital Closure Act would expand and utilize the Critical Access Hospital program in order to stabilize vulnerable hospitals in rural areas until a long term payment model is developed.

 

 

(Paxton-cf)-- The Ford County Board, at its recent emergency meeting, discussed giving Board members special powers to pay bills if meetings are cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, says Chairman Robert Lindgren… 

 

 

Ford County Chairman Robert Lindgren. 

 

(Paxton--jc)  -- All area businesses are having to come up with plans to get their goods and services to the public during this coronavirus pandemic.  At Shields Auto Mart in Paxton, the sales floor is closed to the public, but those wanting to look at a new car can do so by calling the dealership in Paxton. Shields Auto Mart Manager Pete Klein says the service department is also open with restrictions to help with those needing work on their vehicles…

 

 

Shields Auto Mart Manager Pete Klein. The number to remember is 217-379-2393.

 

(The Center Square) – One state lawmaker wants the public to know more information when a school administrator is fired, including how much it could cost taxpayers.State Representative. Tom Morrison, Republican from -Palatine, has introduced a bill to force local school boards to share details about the early termination of a district superintendent or chief executive officer. Morrison says we have to remember the local taxpayers are the ones who pay the salaries of administrators, Morrison adds that if an administrator is let go for cause, the residents in that district should know the reasons. The proposed bill would give citizens a couple of pieces of data that aren’t readily available right now.

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