(Springfield-jm) -- An Illinois lawmaker is proposing an additional 10 percent sales tax on what she calls “assault weapons” but an advocate says her novel definition of the term would mean nearly all firearms would be hit with the tax. A firearm sale in Illinois already includes federal taxes, state sales taxes, and local taxes. Chicago’s assesses a $25 per gun fee that’s long-faced a legal challenge. State Sen. Ann Gillespie’s Senate Bill 2468 would impose a 10 percent retail sales tax on what she calls “assault weapons” and their magazines, which she refers to as a “large capacity ammunition feeding device” that would hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition.
(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois farmers have faced the uncertainties of weather, tariffs, international trade agreements, competition from other countries, but while some things are out of their hand, what happens in Springfield doesn’t have to be. That is why the Illinois Farm Bureau advocates for state laws and policies on their behalf, said Michael Doherty, senior economist and policy analyst for the organization. Issues such as infrastructure and transportation affect farmers, Doherty said. Laws that affect farmers, which could be anything from environmental regulations to road funding, affect everyone, he said.
(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Revenue is reminding taxpayers to take advantage of the earned income tax credit when they file this year. The credit is for low to middle income taxpayers, that could net thousands of dollars. Department of Revenue Spokesperson Sam Salustro says you first need to check if you’re eligible…
Illinois Department of Revenue Spokesperson Sam Salustro. If you qualify for the earned income tax credit on your federal return, you will automatically qualify for the state credit. Visit irs dot gov to try that calculator.
(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois cannabis dispensaries sold nearly $40 million in cannabis in just 31 days, an average of $1.3 million a day. Numbers provided by Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s office show since the adult-use cannabis market launched Jan. 1, 972,045 items sold for $39.2 million. Of that, Illinois residents spent $30.6 million and out-of-state residents spent $8.6 million. While official tax revenue numbers from those sales aren’t yet available, if the average tax was 35 percent, the total revenue could be more than $13 million.
(Urbana-jm) -- Champaign County Crime stoppers are seeking the public's help in finding a Rantoul man. Allen Mickell is wanted on 3 charges of failure to appear for theft and one charge of theft over $50,000. Mickell is described as a 26 year old black male, approximately 5 foot 8 inches tall weighing 160 pounds with black hair and brown eyes.
(Rantoul-jm) -- Rantoul police continue to look for the person who robbed the Verizon store at gunpoint in the village last month. Police say a man entered the store around 11:30 am on Saturday, January 18th. The subject got away with numerous iPhones, iPads and Galaxy phones. He is described as a black male 5 foot 10 inches tall wearing a blue jacket with a hood up, scarf over his face and dark colored pants. Anyone with information is asked to call Champaign County Crime stoppers or Rantoul police.
(Paxton-Cale)- There will be multiple events going on at the Go Red For Women Heart Health Event taking place at the courthouse from 8:30 am to 10:30 am Friday Feb. 7th. Events include, Heart health information, stroke information, blood pressure screens, oxygen level and pulse checks, and you can sign up for a chance to win a health prize! Ford County Public Health Department Educator Danielle Walls has the details
Ford County Public Health Department Educator Danielle Walls.
(Rantoul-jm) -- A program that helps deliver hot meals to those in need in Rantoul are in need of some help themselves. The Peace Meals program is seeking volunteers. The average delivery route takes between 90 and 120 minutes. The program is looking for anyone who can volunteer their time either one, two or five days a week. Those interested can call 217-893-8822.
(Undated-jm) -- The number of flu cases in the U-S continues to rise, especially in children. The CDC reports 68 children have died so far. Health officials say the flu shot is not an exact match to the strain going around. So far 19 million people have been infected with the flu.
(Springfield-jm) -- Amid sprawling federal corruption investigations in Illinois, some are looking at what role the Illinois Attorney General plays in rooting out duplicitous elected officials. Federal corruption investigations have involved several lawmakers in the past year. Former state Sen. Martin Sandoval, D-Cicero, pleaded guilty to accepting bribes to protect a red-light camera company last week. In October, former state Rep. Luis Arroyo, D-Chicago, was charged with bribing an unnamed state senator. State Sen. Tom Cullerton, D-Villa Park, was charged with embezzling from a labor union. He’s pleaded not guilty and remains in office. While county state’s attorneys have the ability to investigate public corruption, sexual assault and other crimes, some at the statehouse want to know what role the Illinois Attorney General has in fighting corruption.
(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois election officials are taking steps to prevent hackers from getting into the state voter database, as the Russians pulled off in 2016. The Illinois State Board of Elections along with several county clerks from central Illinois recently unveiled the Cyber Navigator Program. Following the 2016 Illinois' Voter Registration System infiltration by Russian hackers, state and local election officials received a $13.2 million dollar grant through the "Help America Vote" Act.
(Springfield-jm) -- An Illinois lawmaker argues more should be done to fight unwanted robocalls. State Senator Dave Syverson, R-Rockford, said despite some action at the federal level, the automated calls keep phones in the state ringing around the clock. Last year, the Federal Communications Commission passed a ruling that allows and encourages phone companies to block robocalls by default. Earlier in January, President Donald Trump signed legislation that urges those same companies to cut off illegal marketers or scammers before the phone rings by spotting suspicious traffic.
(Springfield-jm) -- This is National Burn Awareness Week and the Illinois State Fire Marshal’s Office has some tips for staying safe. About 400 thousand people receive medical care for burns each year in the U-S, and one-third of all burn injuries occur in children under the age of 15. Fire marshal spokesperson J-C Fultz says contact burns are the most common…
Illinois State Fire Marshal Spokesperson J-C Fultz. Fultz says the good news is that nearly 97 percent of those who suffer burn injuries survive.
(Hoopeston-jm) -- OSF Children’s Hospital of Illinois is launching an interactive prescription drug safety course for teenage students. The program is for students in grades 9 through 12 for free. Locally, the program will be offered to Hoopeston Area High School students. According to OSF, one in five high school seniors reportedly misused prescription drugs.
(Onarga-jm) -- The Onarga Chamber of Commerce is seeking nominations for their citizen of the year. Nominations are due to the chamber by February 11th and can be dropped off at the Onarga Theatre.
(Undated-jm) -- How does the outlook for February look? State Climatologist Trent Ford has the details…
State Climatologist Trent Ford.
(Rantoul-jm) -- J.W. Eater Junior High in Rantoul will hold their second annual African American Read-in during the month of February as part of Black History Month. Guest readers include the Rev. Robert Freeman today, Dr. Monica Hall on February 14th, Village Trustee Sam Hall on February 18th and Dr. William Trent on February 25th. The read-ins are open to the public.
(Springfield-jm) -- Applications for more licenses in the Illinois cannabis industry are now available. State Department of Agriculture Bureau Chief of Medicinal Plants Jeff Cox says the license apps are for marijuana transporters, infusers and craft growers…
State Department of Agriculture Bureau Chief of Medicinal Plants Jeff Cox. Those interested can submit an application between February 14th and March 16th. Visit agriculture dot illinois dot gov for all the details.
(Undated-jm) -- Attorney General Kwame Raoul is joining 23 other attorneys general in filing an amicus brief supporting the Federal Trade Commission’s ability to seek restitution for consumers when enforcing consumer protections under the Federal Trade Commission Act. The attorneys general are seeking a reversal of a court's decision stating the Federal Trade Commission lacks the authority to obtain restitution.