(Springfield-jm) -- The number of Coronavirus hospitalizations in Illinois is falling. State Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike says about 39 hundred people are in the hospital with COVID-19, including just over a thousand in the ICU. 554 patients are on ventilators…



Illinois Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike. Total Coronavirus cases in Illinois now total more than 100 thousand, although most patients have recovered. Over 45 hundred people have died.



(Undated-jm) -- Local cases also rose yesterday. Livingston County reported 1 new case bringing their total to 29. Ford County reported 1 new case bringing their total to 19. Champaign County reported 27 new cases bringing their total to 476. Kankakee County reported 25 new cases bringing their total to 992. McLean County reported 5 new cases bringing their total to 194. Iroquois and Vermilion Counties both reported no new cases.



(Undated-jm) -- Cases in area communities also continue to rise. In Ford County, Paxton is reporting 7 cases. In Champaign County, Ludlow has 5 cases, Rantoul has 127 cases, Thomasboro has 2 cases, Fisher, Gifford and Penfield have 1 case each. Mahomet has 12 cases and St. Joseph has 4 cases.



(Springfield-jm) -- You may soon be able to sit outdoors at your local bar or restaurant. Governor J-B Pritzker is making some changes to his reopening plan, easing some restrictions for phase three, which should begin on May 29th. That includes letting bars and restaurants open for outdoor seating…



Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Phase three also lets golfers play in foursomes and allows groups of 10 or less to go boating and camping together. Hair and nail salons, barbers and tattoo shops may open with proper safety precautions.



(Springfield-jm) -- Some people in the state will be returning to work next week if the central region moves into Phase 3 of Governor J-B Pritzker’s Restore Illinois plan. The state is working on expanding emergency daycare options. Governor Pritzker said the emergency daycares have been providing care for essential workers with children. However, the state has a task force dedicated to expanding this service.



(Springfield-jm) -- One area political figure is addressing the Governor’s 5 phase reopening plan. 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman says the Governor’s plan is confusing and irrational…



Senator Barickman also says the plan doesn’t fit the entire state…


53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington.



(Urbana-jm) -- The Champaign County Sheriff's Office has been awarded $58,008 by the Department of Justice. The funding comes from the Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding Program, which allows units within local governments to support activities to prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19.


(Paxton-jm) -- The Coronavirus has put a halt on another summer holiday, Memorial Day. Paxton American Legion Prairie Post 150 canceled this year’s parade and ceremony at Glen Cemetery but Spokesperson Frank Crego says they still want to honor the fallen…



Paxton American Legion Prairie Post 150 Spokesperson Frank Crego. Crego says those that want to help put up flags can meet at the gazebo at Glen Cemetery on Saturday, May 23rd at 9 am.



(Gilman-jm) -- Iroquois West will hold a car parade for seniors. The parade will take place at 5pm on May 22nd. The route starts in Danforth and includes stops in Crescent City, Onarga, Thawville and Gilman. Also to honor the senior class, the lights at Boma Field, White Field, and Mann Park Fields will be lit up.



(Washington-jm) -- China has been buying U.S. soybeans recently, but one analyst says those purchases are likely to ramp up considerably this fall.  Gary Crawford reports…




(Undated-jm) -- Reports of active and recovered cases continue to rise. In Livingston County, 24 have been removed from isolation while 4 are active. In Ford County, 13 have been released from isolation and 5 are in isolation. In Champaign County, 230 have recovered, 239 are active including 5 hospitalized. In Iroquois County, 63 have recovered, 48 are in isolation including 6 hospitalized. In Vermilion County, 17 have been released. In Kankakee County, 270 have recovered, 676 are active with 19 hospitalized. In McLean County, 111 have recovered, 67 are in isolation with 10 hospitalized. 



(Undated-jm) -- Kankakee County reported 3 new deaths Wednesday bringing their total number of deaths to 46. No other counties reported new deaths. Champaign County has 5 deaths, Iroquois County has 4 deaths, McLean County has 6 deaths. Ford, Vermilion and Livingston Counties each have 1 death.


(Springfield-jm) -- SNAP recipients will soon be able to buy food online. Governor J-B Pritzker says the state’s one point eight million SNAP clients can use their link cards to shop at certain online grocers starting June 2nd…



Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. All link customers will be alerted when they can use their card to make a grocery order online.



(Springfield-jm) -- Scammers are at it again. Police are warning of a new scam in the area involving a fake Amazon Prime membership email. Police say that while the email may seem to be legitimate, there are a few red flags to take notice of. In a recent instance, the person who received the email knew their Amazon Prime membership didn't expire until the end of the year. Additionally, the sender address is a scam account email versus it being from Amazon. Police warn that if you receive an email like this, do not click on anything.


(Champaign-jm) -- The Champaign County Board meets tonight. WPXN’s Jason Madden reports…




(Urbana-jm) -- A former employee of the University of Illinois has been sentenced to two years of probation for stealing rare books from the school’s music library. 71 year old Thomas McGeary pleaded guilty before Champaign County Circuit Judge Heidi Ladd to the theft of two rare books worth more than $500. 



(Paxton-jm) -- Area leaders are working on plans to help local businesses reopen from the Coronavirus and state’s stay at home order. Earlier this month the Ford County Board voted on a resolution supporting small businesses to reopen. Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold says several mayors from the county met with state legislative leaders to try and persuade the Governor to revise his plan to reopen the state…



Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold.



(Thomasboro-jm) -- Plans for a Dollar General in Thomasboro are moving forward. In a 4-3 vote, the Thomasboro Village Board approved an annexation agreement to annex 2.7 acres on the northeast corner of Flatville Road and Route 45. It’ll cost the village $85,000 to extend utilities to the site.



(Washington-jm) -- Farmers have concern for the future of corn. Stephanie Ho has the details…



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