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The state legislature says Illinois' revenue took a $1.1 billion hit this past fiscal year

(Springfield-jm) -- The state of Illinois saw slight decreases in the number of people filing first-time unemployment claims as well as the number of people receiving continuing benefits during the week that ended July 4. The Illinois Department of Employment Security said Thursday that it processed 39,015 initial unemployment claims during the week, which was shortened by the Independence Day holiday weekend. That was down from 43,934 initial claims filed the previous week, a decline of 11 percent. Meanwhile, the number of Illinois workers receiving continuing benefits under traditional unemployment insurance fell to 667,460, a decline of about 1.4 percent from the previous week.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The state legislature says Illinois' revenue took a $1.1 billion hit this past fiscal year. The main reason for the drop is the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it is not all bad. The data also shows improvements in June due to the state's reopening plans.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The State Department of Transportation is alerting motorists that mowing is underway on Illinois highways. In recent years, IDOT has developed a specific schedule for mowing, says Spokesperson Paul Wappel…

 

 

IDOT Spokesperson Paul Wappel. IDOT schedules mowing to help create and maintain habitat for pollinators like the monarch butterfly, which is at risk of being declared endangered. Wappel says crews are also mowing culverts, ditches and around traffic signals.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 1,018 new cases of COVID-19 and 20 additional deaths Thursday bringing the state’s total number of cases to 150,450 and deaths to 7,119. Locally, McLean County reported 9 new cases bringing their total number to 299. Ford County reported 1 new case bringing their total number to 42. Livingston County reported 1 new case bringing their total number to 56. Kankakee County reported 32 new cases bringing their total number to 1,438. Iroquois County reported 2 new cases bringing their total to 172. Champaign County reported 18 new cases bringing their total number to 998.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- As for total number of cases in communities as reported by the Illinois Department of Public Health...210 in Rantoul, 66 in Mahomet, 54 in Clifton, 21 in Watseka, 20 in Fisher, 19 in Chebanse, 16 in Onarga, 15 in St. Joseph, 14 in Paxton, 11 each in Gibson City and Ashkum, 10 in Hoopeston, 8 in Gilman, 7 each in Crescent City and Danforth, 6 each in Ludlow, Beaverville, Danforth and Milford, 3 in Thomasboro, 2 in Foosland and 1 each in Dewey, Gifford, Penfield and Ogden.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Several roads in Rantoul were closed yesterday afternoon after heavy rains caused major flooding. The National Weather Service reported 2-3 inches of rain had fallen in an hour's time. The U-S 136 viaduct along with Maplewood Drive near the post office were closed due to high water. The south Casey’s was also closed after water flooded the store and parking lot prompting a response from the Rantoul Fire Department in case fuel leaked from the underground fuel tanks.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Parkland College is announcing staffing cuts due to the Coronavirus pandemic. 65 full time employees will lose their job because of an estimated $4.9 million deficit in the next fiscal year. The Champaign based community college hoped to not cut positions by offering voluntary separations but not many took the offer. The community college is also facing a decrease in enrollment however, those numbers have not yet been released.

 

 

(Urbana-cf)--The normal is now wearing a mask in the grocery store, or around older loves more susceptible to contracting COVID-19. Champaign-Urbana Public Health District Administrator Julie Pryde gives us steps to move forward and not backwards from the last three months… 

 

 

Champaign-Urbana Public Health District Administrator Julie Pryde

 

(Vermilion County-jm) -- A Potomac man has been sentenced to 7 years in prison after pleading guilty to burglary. 40 year old Justin Lawless received the sentence in Vermilion County court. According to police, Lawless entered a storage container and stole items used in the management and upkeep of a farm in Collison back in October of 2018.

 

 

(Rantoul-cf)-- The Forum Fitness Center in Rantoul is now open in Phase 4. Equipment is being properly sanitized and the fitness center is asking all patrons to social distance and wear masks when distiancing can’t be practiced says Rantoul Recreation Department Director Luke Humphrey… 

 

 

Rantoul Recreation Department Director Luke Humphrey.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on many sectors of the economy and livestock farming is one of them. Closures of public spaces such as schools, restaurants, bars, and hotels mean decreased demand for meat products. In addition, outbreaks of coronavirus-caused illness at meatpacking plants caused some large operations to shut down temporarily, swamping small mom-and-pop operations that are now booked into spring 2021. The Illinois Pork Producers Association says the industry is back at about 90 percent capacity. Farmers are putting their pigs on high-fiber diets so that they don’t grow too large to be processed when their time does come. 

 

The American Red Cross will hold a blood drive at St. Pauls Lutheran School in Woodworth today from 2-6 pm.

 

The Fisher Community Fair will hold a curbside food drive this afternoon from 3 to 6:30 pm at the Fisher Fairgrounds. WPXN will be broadcasting live this afternoon starting at 4-30 with Becky Puetz.

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul says guidance is available now that the moratorium on utility shut offs is being lifted. Those behind on their utility payments have 30 days to set up a repayment plan with their utility. Shut offs and late fees can’t be charged or occur until July 26th. The guidance is available on the attorney general's website: illinois attorney general dot gov.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department on Aging is launching a new campaign to protect seniors and adults with disabilities from abuse. The tv and social media campaigns aim to assist in preventing abuse, neglect and exploitation of elderly and those with disabilities. According to the Illinois Department on Aging, they handled over 21,000 abuse reports in 2019. If you suspect elder abuse or exploitation, call and report it at 1-866-800-1409.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois is joining more than a dozen other states in trying to force the Environmental Protection Agency's hand on methane pollution standards. Mary Scheurmann reports…

 

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 1,018 new cases of COVID-19 and 20 additional deaths Thursday bringing the state’s total number of cases to 150,450 and deaths to 7,119. As for local active and recovered cases...in McLean County 257 have been released from isolation, 32 remain in isolation with 1 hospitalized. In Ford County 31 have been released from isolation with 9 in isolation and 1 hospitalized. In Livingston County, 50 have been removed from isolation with 4 active cases. In Vermilion County 50 have been released from isolation, 28 remain in isolation with 2 hospitalized. In Kankakee County 1,050 have recovered, 352 cases remain active with 4 hospitalized. In Iroquois County, 150 have recovered with 17 in isolation. In Champaign County, 857 have recovered with 125 active cases and 7 hospitalizations.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- McLean County reported their 15th Coronavirus death Thursday. As for other area counties...Kankakee County has 63 deaths, Champaign County 16 deaths, Iroquois County 5 deaths, Livingston and Vermilion Counties have 2 deaths each and Ford County has 1 death.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity announced a $300 thousand public-private investment to support rural broadband plans Thursday. One of those receiving money is the Housing Authority of Champaign County. 

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- A University of Illinois police officer facing multiple allegations of sexual misconduct is no longer employed with the university. Former U of I Police Officer Brian Tison is accused of engaging in a series of unwelcome, offensive actions with three different women and others over a period of as long as 17 years.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- A Clay County judge ruled last week that Governor Pritzker is only allowed to issue one executive order instead of several subsequent ones in response to a lawsuit filed by Representative Darren Bailey over the governor’s handling of the Coronavirus pandemic. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City shares his thoughts on the ruling…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- The 2020 Gibson City Harvest Fest is the latest event to be canceled. The two day festival was scheduled to take place September 11th and 12th. Organizers say they are planning next year’s event, scheduled to take place September 10th and 11th. Earlier this week the Watseka Family Festival scheduled for the end of August and the National Sweetcorn Festival in Hoopeston, scheduled for Labor Day weekend were both canceled.

 

 

(Rantoul-cf)-- The Rantoul Chamber of Commerce will be putting on Freedom Fridays until Sept. 4. Rantoul Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Amanda Vickory describes how important it is to revamp downtown areas in smaller communities… 

 

 

Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Amanda Vickery.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- A sure sign of summer, cicadas are emerging throughout Illinois after hibernating underground for years. There are three types of cicadas in Illinois: Annual cicadas and periodic cicadas, which emerge in 13-year and 17-year cycles. Seventeen-year cicadas are the longest living insect known to man. No one knows why, but Illinois has the largest brood of cicadas in the world. This summer will be steady with cicadas emerging, but the main invasion will be in 2024.

 

The Fisher Fair will hold a pandemic parade tonight at 7pm.  WPXN will be broadcasting live at 4-30 during the community food drive with our Becky Puetz.

 

Paxton IGA will hold a cookout benefiting First Lutheran Youth Group on Saturday from 10-2.

 

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You now have a little more time to renew your driver's license, ID card and license plate sticker

(Springfield-jm) -- Fiery statements were made by Governor JB Pritzker during his testimony to a Congressional hearing on COVID-19 on Wednesday. The Governor urged federal lawmakers to adopt a nationwide face-covering requirement as cases continue to climb exponentially in some states. Pritzker also urged Congress to continue federal funding for the National Guard’s COVID response and a federal bailout for state and local governments to cover lost revenue due to the pandemic.The Governor also criticized the Trump Administration for not implementing the Defense Production Act earlier in the pandemic. 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- You now have a little more time to renew your driver’s license, ID card and license plate sticker. Expiration dates had already been extended to October 1st due to Secretary of State offices being closed during the pandemic. That’s been extended again to November 1st says Spokesperson Henry Haupt…

 

 

Illinois Secretary of State Spokesperson Henry Haupt. Haupt reminds that there are several things you can do online such as renewing your vehicle registration at: cyber drive illinois dot com.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health announced 980 new cases of COVID-19 and 36 additional deaths Wednesday. That brings the state’s total number of cases to 149,432 and total deaths to 7,099. McLean County reported 8 new cases bringing their total to 290. Vermilion County reported 4 new cases bringing their total to 82. Kankakee County reported 16 new cases bringing their total to 1,406. Iroquois County reported 1 new case bringing their total to 170. Champaign County reported 5 new cases bringing their total to 980.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- According to numbers from the Illinois Department of Public Health, 210 cases have been in Rantoul, 63 in Mahomet, 53 in Clifton, 20 in Watseka, 18 in Chebanse, 17 in Fisher, 16 in Onarga, 15 in St. Joseph, 13 in Paxton, 11 each in Gibson City and Ashkum, 10 in Hoopeston, 8 in Gilman, 7 each in Crescent City and Danforth, 6 each in Ludlow, Beaverville, Donovan and Milford, 3 in Thomasboro, 2 in Foosland and 1 each in Dewey, Gifford and Penfield.

 

(Urbana-jm) -- A Thomasboro man has been arrested on sexual assault and domestic battery charges. 34 year old Mark Frandle was arrested by U-S Marshals on four counts of criminal sexual assault and one count of aggravated domestic battery. Police say Frandle allegedly sexually assaulted a woman twice in June and allegedly choked her in March. Bond was set at $250,000.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- There is diverging progress in the corn and soy crops. Stephanie Ho and USDA Meteorologist Brad Rippey have the details…

 

 

 

(Rantoul-cf)-- Rantoul Police were notified of three vicious American Bulldogs in the 1400 Block of Mather Drive at 8:45am Wednesday. The dogs rushed the residence as the caller attempted to leave for work. Animal Control arrived at the scene assisted by a Rantoul Officer. Animal Control arrived and exited his vehicle with four American Bulldogs at the scene. The Rantoul Police Officer arrived on scene and tried to distract the dogs using his siren. The dogs did not change behavior and continued to swarm the animal control officer, who attempted to retreat around the side of his van. The dogs attacked the animal control officer pinning him against his van, and biting his arm and legs. The Rantoul Police Officer discharged 5 shots and struck all four of the dogs. Two of the dogs died at the scene, and two were transported to the University of Illinois Emergency Vet-Med Clinic. The Animal Control Officer was bitten several times in the arms and legs and was transported to Carle Foundation Hospital for Treatment. 

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- A planned peaceful protest was held last night in downtown Paxton. The protest, organized by PBL grad Matt Harper, took place outside city hall from 6-8 pm calling for the end of white silence.

 

(Chicago-jm) -- The Illinois Attorney General's Office has filed a motion to dismiss Count I in a lawsuit brought by Representative Darren Bailey against Governor Pritzker. A Clay County judge ruled last week the Governor’s executive orders ended April 8th. In the motion filed this week, the Attorney General says the Clay County judge's ruling on July 2 was a non-final and non-appealable ruling because one of the counts wasn't resolved, Count I. Count I focuses on whether Pritzker's April 30 proclamation and June 26 proclamation meet the definition of a disaster as defined by the Illinois Emergency Management Agency Act. A court hearing for the Attorney General 's motion to dismiss is set to begin at 1 p.m. on Friday, July 17.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is warning about the dangers of extreme heat. The best way to protect yourself is to really stay hydrated and take frequent breaks if you’re working outside says Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike. She says signs of trouble can appear quickly…

 

 

Illinois Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike. Symptoms of heat exhaustion include dizziness, headache and cool and clammy skin. It should be treated by moving the person to a cool spot and giving them fluids. Heat stroke is the most serious and includes a high fever. In that case, seek medical attention immediately and do not give fluids.

 

 

(Hoopeston-jm) -- A Milford woman has been charged with forgery in Hoopeston. Hoopeston Police say they were called to a business after Antoniette Spine allegedly tried to pass a fake $100 bill. 


 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health announced 980 new cases of COVID-19 and 36 additional deaths Wednesday. That brings the state’s total number of cases to 149,432 and total deaths to 7,099. As for recovered and active cases...in McLean County 248 have recovered with 26 in isolation and 2 hospitalized. In Vermilion County 50 have been released from isolation, 28 are in isolation with 2 hospitalized. In Kankakee County 1,034 have recovered, 309 cases are active with 10 hospitalized. In Livingston County 46 have been released from isolation with 7 active cases. In Ford County, 31 have been released from isolation, 8 remain in isolation with 1 hospitalized. In Iroquois County, 149 have recovered with 16 in isolation. In Champaign County, 832 have recovered, 131 cases are active with 7 hospitalized.

 

 

(Champaign County-jm) -- Champaign County reported an additional death Wednesday bringing their total number to 17. That’s five deaths in the past week. According to the Champaign-Urbana Public Health Department, they are two males in their 70s, a female in her 70s, a male in his 80s and a male in his 90s and all had underlying health conditions.


 

 

(Fisher-cf)-- This year’s Fisher Parade will start at the Fisher Fair Grounds, and the entry fee is $5. The entry fee will all go to the Fisher Food Bank says Fisher Fair Secretary Jill Hardesty…

 

 

If you would like to donate food items at the parade, you can do so at the south gate. All participants will line up by 6:30 on Friday afternoon, and follow the parade route, says Haresty…

 

 

 

Fisher Fair Secretary Jill Hardesty

WPXN will be broadcasting in Fisher on Friday afternoon starting at 4-30 with our very own Becky Puetz

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Summer projects are moving forward at Rantoul Township High School. The foods room is getting a complete makeover, the district is expected to replace a west wing chiller later this month or early next month and will be replacing three interior doors.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Senate Ag Committee Chairman Scott Bennett of Champaign is promoting new grants to support dairy farmers. The grants are through the Dairy Business Innovation Alliance and total $220,000. The deadline to apply is August 14th. Those selected will be notified on September 4th.

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The pandemic has prompted more Americans to consider moving to less populated areas and continuing to work from home

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois economy shrank at an annual rate of 5.4 percent during the first quarter of 2020 compared to the previous quarter, according to federal data released Tuesday, an indicator of just how severely the COVID-19 pandemic affected commercial activity. Nearly all sectors of the economy took significant hits during the quarter led by arts, entertainment and recreation, which took the biggest hit with a 36 percent rate of decline. Accommodations and food service fell at a rate of more than 27 percent. Other sectors taking big hits included finance and insurance, down 10.6 percent, and transportation and warehousing, which includes airline and rail transportation, which fell at a 9.8 percent rate. he only bright spot in the report was the agricultural sector – one area of the economy that was not affected by the stay-at-home order – which grew quarter-to-quarter at a rate of 183 percent.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- New data released by the Small Business Administration shows taxpayers gave more than 200,000 Illinois businesses a total of more than $22 billion in COVID-19 relief funds. The SBA documents suggest more than 2.1 million jobs were retained in Illinois. In Illinois, there were more than 202,000 businesses that were listed in documents released this week. Businesses that got less than $150,000 were kept mostly anonymous, though some location information was available.The latest aggregate report from June 27 showed Illinois businesses shared in $22.4 billion.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- There’s only about a week left to file your income taxes if you haven’t already done so. Taxpayers have until July 15th to file this year due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Illinois Department of Revenue Spokesperson Sam Salustro says about 85 percent of people have already filed…

 

 

Illinois Department of Revenue Spokesperson Sam Salustro. Salustro says they encourage people to file electronically so that they will get their refunds quicker. If you’re filing a 10-40 for your state taxes, you can do it for free online at: my tax dot illinois dot gov

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 587 new cases of Coronavirus Tuesday and 57 additional deaths bringing the state’s total number of cases to 148,452 and deaths to 7,063. Locally, Vermilion County reported 2 new cases bringing their total number to 78. Ford County reported 1 new bringing their total to 41. Livingston County reported 1 new bringing their total number to 55. McLean County reported 3 new cases bringing their total to 282. Kankakee County reported 8 new cases bringing their total number to 1,390. Iroquois County reported 1 new case bringing their total number to 169. Champaign County reported 17 new cases bringing their total to 975.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- As for local totals, Rantoul has had 210 cases, Mahomet 63 cases, Clifton 53 cases, Watseka 20 cases, 18 cases in Chebanse, 17 in Fisher, 16 in Onarga, St Joseph 15 cases, 13 in Paxton, 11 each in Gibson City and Ashkum, 9 in Hoopeston, 8 in Gilman, 7 each in Crescent City and Danforth, 6 each in Milford and Ludlow, 3 in Thomasboro, 2 in Foosland and 1 each in Dewey, Gifford and Penfield.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- It's smaller than it used to be, but the U.S. still has an agricultural trade surplus with the rest of the world. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

(Watseka-jm) -- A Milford man has been indicted for the murder of a Martinton woman. Jason Fancher was indicted on two counts of murder in the deaths of 54 year old Pam Williams. Her body was found outside of Sheldon in December. Investigators believe Williams death was connected with the murder of Brian Musk of Milford. Fancher is not being charged in Musk’s death. Bond for Fancher was set at $1 million.

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Paxton firefighters were called to a farm equipment fire Tuesday afternoon. Firefighters were called to the fire at 500 North 1450 East about 12:45 pm. No word on what caused the fire.

 

 

(Urbana-cf)-- A lot of people in Champaign Urbana and surrounding communities wanted the IHSA boys state tournament to return to Champaign the birthplace of March Madness. Visit Champaign President and CEO Jayne DeLuce said her mission was to get it back to Champaign ten years ago when she took the position… 

 

 

Visit Champaign President and CEO Jayne DeLuce. 

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The pandemic has prompted more Americans to consider moving to less populated areas and continuing to work from home and a new analysis from Business Insider found Illinois is well suited for post-pandemic refuge seekers. Springfield topped the list. Bloomington was fourth, Champaign was fifth, Peoria placed 28th, and Danville ranked 30th in the nation, according to the analysis. The business publication came up with the best places in the country to live in after the pandemic. The publication used nine economic, educational and demographic metrics for its ranking, including population density, housing affordability, commute times, and school spending per student.

 

(Washington-jm) -- U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth faces criticism for comments she made about removing statues of President George Washington. The junior Senator from Illinois told CNN’s Dana Bash on Sunday that the nation needs to have a dialogue about Washington and his ownership of slaves when the host asked her about calls for the first U.S. President’s statues to be removed.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The fight is on over whether or not Illinois voters should approve a change of the state’s flat income tax to a tax with higher rates for higher earners. The group “Vote Yes for Fairness” put out a series of 15-second video ads supporting the proposed constitutional amendment voters will decide on this November. Governor J.B. Pritzker this week gave the group $51.5 million. The Illinois Chamber of Commerce joined with other groups virtually across the state Tuesday to oppose the amendment. The Illinois Farm Bureau, National Federation of Independent Businesses and Manufacturing Association joined the Illinois Chamber of Commerce in opposing the amendment.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Coronavirus pandemic has caused an increase in the state unemployment numbers. The unemployment rate went over 17 percent in April and over 15 percent in May. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City says that has activated a state law that helps put Illinoisans to work and is being enforced by the Illinois Department of Labor…

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City. The law only applies to projects that receive state or federal funds.

 

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- This week's USDA crop supply and demand forecasts will be based partially on those surprising planted acreage numbers that were released June 30th.  Gary Crawford has the details…

 

 

 

(Danville-jm) -- A Danville man has been arrested on kidnapping and beating a Cissna Park woman. Police say a Cissna Park woman returned home and found her home had been broken into and Vincent Beard outside waiting for her. Beard forced the woman to drive to Danville punching her several times and threatening her with a gun. He is charged with aggravated kidnapping, armed robbery, unlawful use of a weapon by a felon and aggravated battery.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Paxton police are investigating a theft that occurred sometime between Sunday night and Monday morning. The theft occurred in the 400 block of East Pine Street. Stolen was a wallet with currency, debit cards and drivers license, a fishing tackle box and a depth finder for a boat. Anyone with information is asked to call Paxton police.

 

 

(Champaign-cf)-- The COVID-19 testing site at the MarketPlace Mall in Champaign has been operated by the Illinois National Guard since it opened in late May. Champaign-Urbana Public Health District Administrator Julie Pryde says that the National Guard will be pulling out of the site, and will be replaced by another testing agency that will offer walk-up testing as well…

 

 

Champaign-Urbana Public Health District Administrator Julie Pryde. 

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The state of Illinois is hoping to hire about 4,000 contact tracers in the fight against COVID-19, but the Federal Trade Commission is warning about scams related to contact tracing. Contact tracing involves calling people infected with the virus to see who they have had contact with in recent days. It also means reaching out to those who may have been exposed to people with COVID-19. The Federal Trade Commission reported scammers pretending to be coronavirus contact tracers are sending text messages to falsely warn people they’ve been exposed to someone with the virus and need to click a link to learn more. The link downloads malicious software onto a person’s smartphone, giving hackers access to private information.

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Secretary of State Jesse White's Office is unveiling a new organ and tissue donation ad campaign

(Springfield-jm) -- Worries about a surge of child abuse cases in Illinois persist as the state begins to reopen during the COVID-19 pandemic. Calls to report suspected child abuse and neglect during the pandemic dropped by 57% in Illinois compared to the same time last year, according to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. According to Illinois DCFS data, one in five children is abused or neglected before they turn 18 and 70 percent of child abuse is not reported. Anyone who suspects a child may be at risk is encouraged to call the Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline at 800-25-ABUSE.

 

 

(Undated-jm) --  More than $266 billion in stimulus payments was given out to Americans. In Illinois, nearly $10 billion was distributed to 5.9 million people. The payments were issued based on information from the 2018 and 2019 tax returns or social security benefits. There could be another round of stimulus checks coming. Congress could take up the issue as early as the end of this month.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Secretary of State Jesse White’s Office is unveiling a new organ and tissue donation ad campaign. This year’s ad tells the story of a woman who received her life saving heart from her friend’s daughter. Secretary White urges the public to consider giving the gift of life…

 

 

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White. There are six point nine million Illinoisans currently signed up to be organ donors, but about 300 people still die waiting for an organ each year. Watch the ad and sign up today at: life goes on dot com.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 614 new cases of Coronavirus and 6 additional deaths bringing the state’s total number to 147,865 cases and 7,026 deaths. Locally, Iroquois County is reporting 6 new cases bringing their total to 168. Ford County is reporting 3 new cases bringing the total number to 40. Vermilion County is reporting 3 new cases bringing their total to 76. McLean County is reporting 7 new cases bringing their total number to 279. Kankakee County is reporting 10 new cases bringing their total number to 1,383. Champaign County is reporting 27 new cases bringing their total number to 958. Livingston County reported no new cases Monday leaving their total at 54.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- As for cases in area communities, 203 are in Rantoul, 61 in Mahomet, 53 in Clifton, 20 in Watseka, 17 in Fisher, 16 each in Chebanse and Onarga, 15 in St. Joseph, 13 in Paxton, 11 each in Gibson City and Ashkum, 9 in Hoopeston, 8 in Gilman, 7 each in Danforth and Crescent City, 6 each in Ludlow and Milford, 3 in Thomasboro, 2 in Foosland and 1 each in Dewey, Gifford and Penfield.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The condition of Illinois corn and soybean crops dropped this past week. 22 percent of soybeans are blooming and one percent of the crop is setting pods. 63 percent of soybeans are rated in good to excellent condition, down from 68 percent the previous week. State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener looks at corn…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. Average statewide topsoil moisture decreased to 3 percent very short, 26 percent short, 66 percent adequate and 5 percent surplus. The second cutting of alfalfa is now 38 percent complete.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Rantoul police are investigating an armed robbery at a business in the village over the weekend. Police say two men entered the Dollar General around 6:15 pm Saturday evening, displayed a gun and demanded cash. The suspects are described as black males between 5 foot 9 and 6 feet tall, wearing brown hooded sweatshirts, masks and gloves. Anyone with information is asked to call Rantoul police.

 

 

(Ludlow-jm) -- The Ludlow man who eluded U-S Marshals over the weekend who were trying to arrest him for murder and attempted murder in Kentucky, turned himself in Monday. Justin Hardin fled from his mother's house in Ludlow Friday as U-S Marshals arrived to arrest him. Officers attempted to search for him for about six hours before it was called off. Hardin is due in court this afternoon.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- The first phase of the reconstruction of the I-57/I-74 interchange in Champaign will begin tomorrow. Construction will begin on the Bloomington Road bridge over I-57. In August both Mattis Road bridges will undergo construction. The bridges will be rebuilt higher and longer to accommodate the new ramps for the interchange.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- It was a hot and dry 4th of July weekend. But how does the forecast look for the rest of the month? State Climatologist Trent Ford has the details…

 

 

State Climatologist Trent Ford.

 

 

(Ford County-jm) -- A Ford County road will be closed for about a month. The Illinois Department of Transportation announced Monday, Route 115 between Roberts and Piper City will be closed for a bridge replacement. Work is expected to be completed in August.

(Chicago-jm) -- People traveling to Chicago from out-of-state may have to undergo a two-week quarantine. The states include: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nevada, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Utah. Those who don’t follow the order could be fined $500 per day.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Casinos that fail to follow guidelines aimed at limiting the spread of the coronavirus could be disciplined, including loss of their license, Illinois regulators warned. Requirements include face coverings in gaming establishments and casinos and social distancing along with regular hand washing.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Transportation is urging the public to be on the lookout for buckling roads as high temperatures persist. Extreme heat and humidity like the state is experiencing right now can cause the pavement to expand and buckle says IDOT Spokesperson Paul Wappel…

 

 

IDOT Spokesperson Paul Wappel. Wappel says they are asking people to report any road buckling they see by calling 1-800-452-IDOT or 9-1-1.

 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The condition of Illinois corn and soybean crops dropped this past week. State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says 10 percent of corn is silking and 61 percent of the crop is rated in good to excellent condition. That compares to 67 percent the previous week. Turning to soybeans…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 82 percent of winter wheat has been harvested. Average statewide topsoil moisture is a little drier and now stands at 3 percent very short, 26 percent short, 66 percent adequate and 5 percent surplus.

 

 

(Rural Fisher-jm) -- Multiple people were taken to the hospital following a single vehicle rollover accident near Fisher Monday afternoon. The accident occurred 600 East just south of Fisher around 4:15. At least two people were airlifted to the hospital. 

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- The Champaign Goodwill will be closed for a few days after an employee tested positive for the Coronavirus. The store closed Monday for cleaning and is expected to reopen on Thursday. 

 

 

(Hoopeston-jm) -- The 2020 Hoopeston Sweetcorn Festival is the latest event to be canceled because of the Coronavirus. Organizers say the 77th National Sweetcorn Festival will take place September 2 through the 6th in 20-21.

 

 

(St. Joseph-cf)-- The Village of St. Joseph has made changes to their swimming pool and hot tub ordinances. The old ordinances were outdated and needed modifications. You must now call the village office before you install the pool to make sure that the location where the pool will be on your property is not covering any gas or sewer lines, or any other major line underground, says Mayor Tami Fruhling… 

 

 

St. Joseph Mayor Tami Fruhling.

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Gibson City police have released their recent activity report. On July 1st, 30 year old Nathaniel Stokes of Gibson City was arrested for theft of a motor vehicle.

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A man wanted for attempted murder in Kentucky escaped from U-S Marshals Friday

(Ludlow-jm) -- A man wanted for attempted murder in Kentucky escaped from U-S Marshals Friday who tried to arrest him in Ludlow. Agents from the U-S Marshals office attempted to arrest Justin Hardin at his mother’s house around 8 am. Hardin escaped and a six hour manhunt ensued with 15 officers from the U-S Marshals office setting up a perimeter around the village looking for him. He is described as a white male approximately 5 feet 9 inches tall, weighing about 160 pounds with brown hair and a medium build. Anyone with information on his whereabouts are asked to call 9-1-1.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Paxton firefighters were called to a house fire Saturday evening. Firefighters were called to a porch on fire in the 300 block of West Pine Street just after 10 pm. No injuries were reported.

 

 

(Paxton-cf)-- At the June Council Meeting for the City of Paxton, the city was able to secure a grant for the “Rebuild Illinois” project. The grant can be used to repair city streets as well as sidewalks saysPaxton  Mayor Bill Ingold… 

 

 

Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold. 

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting 147,251 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 7,020 deaths. Friday the state reported 868 new cases and 18 additional deaths, Saturday 862 new cases and 10 deaths and Sunday 639 new cases and 6 deaths. We will have the latest numbers tonight on our news at 4 and 5.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- As for cases in area communities. As of Sunday, 198 in Rantoul, 59 in Mahomet, 52 in Clifton, 20 in Watseka, 16 each in Chebanse and Onarga, 13 each in Paxton, Fisher and St. Joseph, 11 in Ashkum, 10 in Gibson City, 9 in Hoopeston, 8 in Gilman, 7 in Crescent City, 6 each in Ludlow, Danforth and Milford, 3 in Thomasboro, 2 in Foosland and 1 each in Gifford and Penfield.

 

 

(Fisher-cf)-- This year’s Fisher Fair will have a different twist. In place of the fair, postponed by the COVID-19 Pandemic, there will be a parade throughout the village. There will be a sidewalk chalk contest along with the parade, and entries will be judged, and winners will receive a season pass to the 2021 Fisher Fair says Fisher Fair Secretary Jill Hardesty…

 

 

Fisher Fair Secretary Jill Hardesty.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Could a family entertainment venue be coming to Rantoul? And could a hair salon in the village get a new home? Those answers depend on if the village will provide $1 million in loans. The village's EDA loan committee will meet Monday afternoon where they will consider a request for a  $500,000 loan to build a family entertainment venue on the village's west side that would feature miniature golf and arcade among other attractions. The second request, also for $500,000, would go to Shear Excellence. The hair salon is looking to use the money to purchase and renovate a building in the village allowing the salon to expand its services.

(Urbana-jm) -- One person is dead after an accident on I-74 in Champaign County early Saturday morning. Illinois State Police say 24 year old Caleb Sullivan of Urbana walked onto the interstate from the right shoulder and was struck by a vehicle driven by a woman from northern Illinois. The woman was taken to the hospital with minor injuries. Sullivan was pronounced dead at the scene.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Communities have until July 20th to apply for the state’s Restore, Reinvest and Renew Program. The “R-3” Program offers grants for initiatives in areas disproportionately affected by the war on drugs. The money comes from tax revenue generated by the sale of recreational marijuana and can be used to address several needs, says Quinn Rallins with the Lieutenant Governor’s office…

 

 

Quinn Rallins with the Lieutenant Governor’s Office. Groups interested in applying for a grant should visit: r3 dot illinois dot gov. A map is available listing which areas are eligible.

 

 

(Champaign-cf)-- The State of Illinois has now moved into the 4th phase of the Rebuild Illinois Plan. Mayor of Champaign Deb Feinen discussed some of the protocols  implemented at bars and restaurants in Champaign…

 

 

Mayor of Champaign Deb Feinen. 

 

 

(Vermilion County-jm) -- Vermilion Circuit Clerk Chief Deputy Missy Quick was appointed to Vermilion County Circuit Clerk. Quick replaced Denny Gardner following his retirement on June 30. Gardner was serving his third and final term as Vermilion County Circuit Clerk. Quick has been with the office for more than 29 years. 

 

 

(Rantoul--jc)  Downtown Rantoul is a destination on Friday nights. Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Amanda Vickery says music, games and more started this past Friday…

 

 

Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Amanda Vickery

 

 

(Champaign County-jm) -- Champaign County is seeking people to fill several vacant positions. The county is seeking appointments to drainage districts and to fill unfilled positions on cemetery associations and boards, community action board, county board of health, developmental disability board and zoning board of appeals. Anyone interested can fill out an application on the county’s website.

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A Clay County judge ruled Thursday that Governor J.B. Pritzker's executive orders were void beyond the initial 30-day period

(Clay County-jm) --  A Clay County judge ruled Thursday that Governor J.B. Pritzker’s executive orders were void beyond the initial 30-day period in a legal win for state Representative Darren Bailey. The Illinois Attorney General is expected to appeal and the case could go all the way to the Illinois Supreme Court. Pritzker called Bailey's lawsuit a political stunt.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The first report from the Restore Illinois Collaborative Commission surfaced Thursday, a day after it was supposed to be shared with state lawmakers, and without any kind of meeting of the commission. The state law creating the Restore Illinois Collaborative Commission was signed by the governor last month and required an initial report on how to revive the state’s economy to be issued July 1. The report outlines various assistance programs the Pritzker administration facilitated, including hundreds of millions of tax dollars for things like job training, low-income energy assistance, business grants and more.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Despite the recent rains, June ended up drier and warmer than normal in Illinois. The statewide average temperature was nearly 74 degrees last month. That’s almost two degrees above normal and tying for the 26th warmest June on record in Illinois. The biggest departures were in Northern and Northeastern Illinois says State Climatologist Trent Ford…

 

 

State Climatologist Trent Ford. Ford says precipitation varied widely last month, with areas of Western Illinois and East Central Illinois getting more than eight inches of rain and parts of Central and South-Central Illinois only receiving about half an inch. Ford says the short term outlook is calling for dry, hot weather.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois reported 869 new cases of COVID-19 and 36 additional deaths Thursday bringing the state’s total number of cases to 144,882 and total number of deaths to 6,987. Locally, Livingston County reported 4 new cases bringing their total number of cases to 51. McLean County reported 4  new cases bringing their total number to 265. Vermilion County reported 4 new cases bringing their total number to 71. Ford County reported 1 new case bringing their total number to 34. Kankakee County reported 6 new cases bringing their total number to 1,373. Iroquois County reported 2 new cases bringing their total to 162. Champaign County reported 11 new cases bringing their total to 901.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- As for cases in area communities, 195 are in Rantoul, 12 in Paxton, 7 each in Gibson City, Gilman, Crescent City and Hoopeston, 52 in Clifton, 16 each in Chebanse and Onarga, 11 in Ashkum, 19 in Watseka and 6 each in Danforth, Ludlow and Beaverville, 8 in Fisher, 1 each in Gifford and Penfield, 54 in Mahomet and 12 in St. Joseph.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Rantoul police are investigating a report of shots fired in the village early Thursday morning. Police were called to the 600 block of St. Andrew’s Circle just before 1:30 am for a report of shots fired. A few minutes later officers received a fireworks complaint in the 1400 block of Mather (may-ther) Drive. No evidence of shots fired or fireworks were found. About 8:15 am police were called to the 1400 block of Eater (ate-er) Drive after a resident found several spent shell casings in the street. The resident reported hearing what they thought were fireworks earlier in the morning but did not call police. Anyone with information is asked to call Rantoul police.

 

 

(Ford County-jm) -- The Ford County Sheriff’s office has released their June activity numbers. Deputies responded to 7 traffic accidents and issued 34 citations during the month including 7 for speeding, 3 each for driving on a suspended license, failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident and illegal transportation of alcohol, 2 each for improper lane usage, operating an uninsured motor vehicle and reckless driving and 1 each for fleeing and eluding police, DUI and leaving the scene of an accident. Deputies also handled 12 reports of suspicious activity, 7 reports each of harassment and custody disputes, 6 domestic issues, 3 criminal damage to property reports and 2 each of fight in progress, burglary and hit and run.

 

 

(Buckley-jm) -- Christ Lutheran High School in Buckley will be holding a pork burger lunch this Saturday. Executive Director Sandy Spitz talks about the lunch…

 

Christ Lutheran High School Executive Director Sandy Spitz.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- IDOT is suspending road construction and reopening some lanes of roads for the 4th of July holiday weekend to minimize travel disruptions. Where lane closures remain, IDOT reminds motorists work zone speed limits will remain in effect. 

 

(Washington-jm) -- USDA is offering loan repayment flexibility during the time of the pandemic.  Stephanie Ho reports…

 

 

Paxton IGA will hold a cookout benefiting Cornerstone Youth on Saturday, July 4th from 10-2.

 

Buckley will hold a 4th of July parade on Saturday, July 4th starting at 10:30 am

(Springfield-jm) --  A recent survey shows how Americans feel about the economic situation during and after the pandemic. The website WalletHub examined people’s thoughts on travel and dining, and how soon the country will recover financially. The survey also asked about taxes.  Governor J.B. Pritzker is going forward with his progressive income tax proposal which includes a $3.7 billion tax increase. The majority of respondents are not in favor of a tax hike.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- More Illinoisans went back to work last week as the nation posted record job gains, but a full recovery remains far off. The U.S. Department of Labor posted both its weekly unemployment figures and June unemployment data ahead of the holiday weekend. The department announced the nation added 4.8 million jobs in June, shattering previous records and expectations. The last record was in May when the U.S. added 2.7 million jobs. The unemployment rate fell to 11.1 percent in June. In Illinois, 45,249 workers filed initial claims for unemployment in the week ending June 27. That’s a decrease of 1,027 from the week prior. June’s unemployment rate has yet to be released, but the Illinois Department of Employment Security said May’s unemployment rate was 14.7 percent.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Labor is alerting local officials about a new hiring requirement for public works projects. A law requiring at least 90 percent of workers hired for a public works job to be from Illinois kicks in after two months of a state unemployment rate higher than five percent says Assistant Director Jason Keller…

 

 

Illinois Department of Labor Assistant Director Jason Keller. Keller says the requirement will be enforced by the Department of Labor and Illinois Attorney General’s Office. 

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois reported 869 new cases of COVID-19 and 36 additional deaths Thursday bringing the state’s total number of cases to 144,882 and total number of deaths to 6,987. As for active and recovered cases, in Livingston County 39 have been removed from isolation with 10 active cases. In McLean County 238 have been released from isolation with 13 in isolation and 1 hospitalized. In Vermilion County, 44 have been released from isolation, 23 remain in isolation with 2 hospitalized. In Ford County, 25 have been released from isolation and 8 are in isolation. In Kankakee County, 995 have recovered, 315 remain active with 10 hospitalized. In Iroquois County, 144 have recovered and 13 remain in isolation. In Champaign County, 775 have recovered, 114 remain active with 4 hospitalized.

 

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Paxton police have released their recent activity report. On June 28th, Dominick Stallone, 65, of Paxton was arrested for violating an order of protection after police were called to a dispute on Dawn Avenue. On June 26th, an unknown vehicle ran over the stop sign at Market and Pells. Anyone with information is asked to call Paxton police.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- A Rantoul man has been sentenced to 6 years in prison for a sexual assault last year. 46 year old Roberto Velazquez received the sentence after pleading guilty in Champaign County court to criminal sexual assault. Prosecutors say Velazquez assaulted the intoxicated woman at a party in Rantoul back in March of 2019. He was given credit for 239 days served.

 

 

(Urbana-cf)-- The dust plume traveling from the Sarhian desert has gotten national attention over the past several weeks and it could reach to Central Illinois making the sky a milky color. What is the dust plum, and what causes it? Fox 55/27 Meteorologist Doug Quick fills us in…

 

 

Fox 55/27 Meteorologist Doug Quick. You can hear Doug on WPXN hourly and on dougquick.com. 

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White’s office is announcing closures of all drivers services facilities for the 4th of July holiday. Facilities open Monday through Friday will be closed today. Facilities open Tuesday through Saturday will be closed on Saturday.

 

The Rantoul VFW and American Legion will host a 4th of July parade on Saturday at 10 am starting at the police station, head east to Chanute Street, south on Chanute to Sangamon then west to the train station.

 

Christ Lutheran High School in Buckley is hosting a drive thru pork burger lunch on Saturday, July 4th from 11-1.

 

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Expect to see more police out on the roads over the 4th of July holiday weekend

(Springfield-jm) -- A new report from an Illinois think tank says the state was ill-prepared for the COVID-19 pandemic, primarily because of a pre-existing shortage of nurses, and that the pandemic has left state even more vulnerable in the event of another public health crisis. The report, by the Illinois Economic Policy Institute also argues the state would be in a better position if nurses at more hospitals were unionized and if the state adopted a law requiring mandatory minimum nurse staffing levels, an idea that was proposed in the 2019 legislative session but was not adopted. The Illinois Health and Hospital Association agrees there is a nursing shortage, it argues the lack of preparedness was more of a federal problem, and that the nursing shortage did not diminish the quality of care patients received. It strongly opposes legislation requiring minimum nurse staffing levels at hospitals, and disputes any correlation between the quality of patient care and the presence of a nurses’ union in a hospital.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- A lawsuit challenging Governor J-B Pritzker’s COVID-19 orders will be heard in a Clay County court this afternoon. State Representative Darren Bailey filed the suit challenging whether the Governor can extend emergency declarations beyond 30 days as well as whether the Governor has the power to close businesses.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Expect to see more police out on the roads over the 4th of July holiday weekend. ISP Captain JW Price says they are boosting patrols and troopers will be looking for speeders, distracted drivers and drunk drivers…

 

 

Illinois State Police Captain JW Price. That includes having a designated driver, using a ride share service, taxi or public transportation. If you get behind someone that appears to be driving drunk, pull over and call 9-1-1.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is announcing 828 new cases of COVID-19 and 30 additional deaths. That brings the state’s total number of cases to 144,013 and deaths to 6,951. Locally, Ford County reported 1 new case bringing their total number to 33. Vermilion County reported 3 new cases bringing their total number to 67. McLean County reported 1 new case bringing their total number to 261. Livingston County reported 2 new cases bringing their total number to 47. Kankakee County reported 9 new cases bringing their total to 1,367. Champaign County reported 24 new cases bringing their total to 890. Iroquois County reported 3 new cases bringing their total number to 160.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- As for cases in local communities...192 are in Rantoul, 54 in Mahomet, 52 in Clifton, 18 in Watseka, 15 each in Chebanse and Onarga, 12 each in Paxton and St. Joseph, 11 in Ashkum, 7 each in Gilman, Crescent City and Hoopeston, 6 each in Gibson City, Ludlow and Danforth, 5 in Fisher, 3 in Thomasboro and 1 each in Gifford and Penfield.

 

 

(Urbana-cf)-- The dust plum that is traveling from the Sarhian desert to the United States could be here this week. What will the chance of rain showers look like if the cloud reaches Central Illinois? Fox 55/27 Meteorologist Doug Quick has the answer… 

 

 

Fox 55/27 Meteorologist Doug Quick. You can hear Doug on WPXN hourly and on dougquick.com. 

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- The Champaign-Urbana Public Health Department is announcing 6 cases of Cyclosporiasis. According to the health department, the outbreak is part of a multi-state outbreak believed to be linked to packaged garden salads. Symptoms of Cyclosporiasis include water diarrhea, loss of appetite, cramping, bloating or increased gas, nausea and fatigue.

 

 

(Paxton-cf)-- The Paxton Freedom Celebration was postponed earlier in the year due to the coronavirus pandemic. The insurance company also told the city they wouldn’t insure the fireworks display due to the pandemic, says Mayor Bill Ingold… 

 

 

The City also sets aside $7,500 dollars for the display, and raises another $7,500 by donations from businesses and citizens, with the pandemic and businesses being shut down, it wasn’t the time to ask for donations says Mayor Ingold…

 

 

Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold. 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Agriculture has released junior livestock and horse show dates. Beef cattle, sheep, dairy goats, pygmy goats and rabbits will be shows at the state fairgrounds September 11-13. Swine, dairy cattle and meat goats will show September 18-20. The English Jr Horse show will take place August 29 and 30 at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds with the Western Jr Horse show September 3-6 at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds. The competitions are for ages 8-21.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Federal Bureau of Investigation said online banking has increased 50% because of the COVID-19 pandemic and scammers are taking advantage. The bureau warned against two types of scams especially: one is the creation of fake banking apps, and the other is installing “trojans,” a form of malware that can take control of your phone or tablet and then extract information from your banking app when you open it. 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois State Police are reporting a reduction in forensic backlogs. State police say through funding initiatives and the creation of a task force to address the backlog, they reduced the backlog by 33 percent. State police hope to continue to reduce the backlog at the 6 crime labs across the state.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- A new state law taking effect this week in Illinois further cracks down on distracted driving. Illinois was one of the first states to ban texting while driving, and the law has been tweaked over the years says Secretary of State Jesse White’s Spokesperson, Henry Haupt…

 

 

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White’s Spokesperson Henry Haupt. Those caught face a minimum fine of one thousand dollars and may also have their driver’s license suspended or revoked. Motorists could also lose their license under another new law if they fail to yield at a crosswalk and  seriously injure someone.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- No additional COVID-19 deaths were reported in the area Wednesday.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is announcing 828 new cases of COVID-19 and 30 additional deaths. That brings the state’s total number of cases to 144,013 and deaths to 6,951. As for active and recovered cases locally, Ford County is reporting 25 have been released from isolation while 7 remain in isolation. Vermilion County is reporting 44 have been released from isolation, 22 remain in isolation and 2 are hospitalized. McLean County is reporting 238 have recovered, 9 are in isolation and 1 hospitalized. Livingston County is reporting 39 have been removed from isolation with 6 active cases. Kankakee County is reporting 983 have recovered, 321 are active with 6 hospitalized. Champaign County is reporting 761 have recovered, 117 are active with 7 hospitalized. Iroquois County is reporting 135 have recovered with 20 in isolation.

 

 

(Urbana-cf)-- Most fans that have attended the State Farm Center since it was renovated in 2015 know there are a lot of new amenities in the arena. Visit Champaign President and CEO Jane DeLuce says those amenities are what helped sell the arena to the IHSA board to bring the IHSA State Finals back to Champaign Urbana…

 

 

DeLuce also says outside of the arena, when the IHSA was present for their walk through over 150 community members were present in the Traditions Club saying “we want you back”... 

 

Visit Champaign President and CEO Jayne DeLuce. 


 

(Urbana-jm) -- The University of Illinois is hiring more than 100 people to help collect COVID-19 tests. The university wants to test all staff, faculty, and students as they come back this summer and fall. 20 test sites will be set up around campus with the goal to process 10,000 tests a day. After the initial test, the university wants everyone to be tested again three to four days later to confirm their first result.

 

 

(Gilman-jm) -- Local municipalities are looking to determine the economic impact the COVID-19 pandemic will have on their budgets. One of those communities is Gilman. Mayor Rick Theesfield says some projects could be affected…

 

Gilman Mayor Rick Theesfield.

 

 

(Thomasboro-jm) -- Thomasboro Grade School students will be returning to the classroom later than expected. The school board approved starting the new school year two weeks later to give the district more time to implement safety protocols. Parents have some options for their students. They can enroll them in all remote learning, all in person learning or a combination of both. Classes for the Thomasboro Grade School district will begin August 10th.

 

 

(Urbana-cf)-- Bars and restaurants in the City of Urbana have been open for outdoor dining since the beginning of phase three. Mayor Diane Marlin describes how that process has gone, and that we have been blessed with really good weather…

 

Urbana Mayor Diane Marlin.

 

 

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Illinois gas tax increases seven-tenths of a penny today

(Springfield-jm) -- It’ll cost about a nickel or a dime more when filling up with gas in Illinois starting today when the state’s gas tax increases seven-tenths of a penny, a year after state lawmakers doubled the gas tax and tied annual increases to the rate of inflation. Last year lawmakers passed a doubling of the state’s gas tax from 19 cents a gallon to 38 cents a gallon. And the tax receipts show it. From July 2019 to May 2020, Illinois drivers paid $1.24 billion more than the same time the year before. The same law also pegged future increases to the consumer price index. The annual increase tied to the Consumer Price Index raises the gas tax today from 38 cents to 38.7 cents a gallon.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- There’s still no certainty regarding how Illinois will cover $6.3 billion of its upcoming pandemic-era spending plan that starts today. Despite projected revenues being down by billions of dollars because of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the $42.9 billion spending plan that begins July 1 is the largest in state history. $6.3 billion of the planned spending in the fiscal year 2021 budget has not yet materialized. One line item is $5 billion in borrowing from the federal government to pay off a $5 billion loan from a federal reserve program. Around $1.3 billion of the state’s planned spending is based on a tax increase from the progressive income tax on the ballot for Illinois voters to decide this November.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Farmers in Illinois and across the country planted more corn and soybeans this year. 10 point 4 million acres of soybeans have been planted, that’s an increase of five percent over last year, says State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. Looking at corn…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. Nationally, corn acreage is up by three percent and soybean acreage is up by 10 percent compared to last year.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 724 new cases of COVID-19 and 23 additional deaths Tuesday bringing the state’s total number of cases to 143,185 and deaths to 6,923. Locally, McLean County reported 2 new cases bringing their total number to 260. Vermilion County also reported 2 new cases bringing their total to 64. Kankakee County reported 8 new cases bringing their total number to 1,358. Champaign County reported 12 new cases bringing their total number to 866. Ford, Iroquois and Livingston Counties all reported no new cases leaving their totals at 32, 157 and 45 respectively.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health along with area health departments are reporting cases in area communities. 189 cases are in Rantoul, 52 in Clifton, 48 in Mahomet, 37 in Pontiac, 18 in Watseka, 15 in Chebanse, 11 in Ashkum, 10 each in Onarga and Paxton, 9 in St. Joseph, 7 each in Gilman, Crescent City and Hoopeston, 6 each in Danforth, Gibson City, Ludlow and Fairbury, 3 each in Fisher and Thomasboro and 1 each in Gifford, Penfield, Saybrook and Colfax.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- The 4th of July holiday is this weekend and many are stressing safety. One of those includes 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.


 

(Champaign-jm) -- No injuries were reported after a semi rolled over near Champaign Tuesday afternoon. Illinois State Police say the semi was getting off I-57 onto the westbound I-72 ramp when his load shifted causing the vehicle to overturn.

 

 

(Urbana-cf)-- Playgrounds are now open statewide in Phase 4. Champaign-Urbana Public Health District Administrator Julie Pryde says it will be on the parents or caretaker of the child to make sure that their hands are clean when children are done playing on the equipment to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus…

 

 

Champaign-Urbana Public Health District Administrator Julie Pryde 

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Rantoul police are investigating after a teen was shot with a paintball over the weekend. Police say the teen was walking in the 1100 block of Fairlawn drive just before 5pm Sunday evening. The teen told police a passenger in a vehicle rolled down a window and fired several shots striking the teen 3 times. Police say 4 black males were in the vehicle at the time. Anyone with information is asked to call Rantoul police.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Those wanting to golf and support a great cause can do so in Rantoul. The Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce will be hosting their golf outing in September says Director Amanda Vickery…

 

 

Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Amanda Vickery.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Two area attractions at the Champaign County Forest Preserve will be reopening in July. The forest preserve announced the Museum of the Grand Prairie in Mahomet and the Homer Lake Interpretive Center between St. Joseph and Homer will be opening July 8th on a limited basis and with restrictions in place. The Homer Lake Interpretive Center will be open from 1-5 pm Wednesday through Friday with a limit of 10 people at a time. The Museum of the Grand Prairie will be open from 1-5 pm Wednesday through Friday but you must sign up for a 1 hour time slot on their website ccfpd dot org. There will also be a limit of 10 at a time and the 1st hour every Wednesday will be for those 65 and over and vulnerable groups. Masks and social distancing will be required at both locations.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is announcing $250 million in additional relief to assist communities respond to COVID-19. The money is through the Federal CARES act. 

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- A Clay County couple is suing the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Illinois State Board of Education over the school reopening guidelines. The lawsuit was brought by James and Kali Mainer, the parents of three young children. The Mainers claim the guidelines are "unlawful as well as arbitrary and capricious." The Mainers take issue specifically with the face mask and temperature check requirements in the lawsuit. The couple is asking for a judge to determine the school reopening guidelines consisting of the face mask requirement, temperature checks, and the 50 person gathering limit is unlawful.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Farmers in Illinois and across the country planted more corn and soybeans this year. Nationally, soybean acreage is up by 10 percent and corn acreage is up by three percent. In Illinois 10 point 9 million acres of corn were planted, an increase of four percent compared to last year. State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener looks at soybeans…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. An estimated 490 thousand acres of hay will be harvested in Illinois this year, up 17 percent from 2019. The winter wheat harvest is expected to be down this year.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 724 new cases of COVID-19 and 23 additional deaths Tuesday bringing the state’s total number of cases to 143,185 and deaths to 6,923. As for local active and recovered cases...McLean County is reporting 237 have recovered and 10 are in isolation. Vermilion County is reporting 41 have been released from isolation, 20 remain in isolation and 1 is hospitalized. In Iroquois County, 134 have recovered and 18 remain in isolation. In Kankakee County, 981 have recovered, 314 cases are active with 6 hospitalized. In Livingston County, 37 have been removed from isolation with 6 active cases. In Ford County, 25 have been released from isolation with 6 remaining in isolation. In Champaign County, 755 have recovered, while 99 cases remain active and 8 are hospitalized.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- For the 6th straight day no new deaths from COVID-19 were reported in the WPXN listening area.

 

 

(St. Joe-cf)-- The Village of St. Joseph will be moving forward in a drainage project on 1st street. However, a majority of the standing water that occurs is located on Sherman Street. The Village has made minor fixes to the drains but it’s now time to for a new drainage system in the area says Mayor Tami Fruhling… 

 

 

St. Joseph Mayor Tami Fruhling

 

 

(Ludlow-jm) -- Ludlow residents will see a rise in their water bills. Residents inside village limits will see their rates increase $45 in July. Those outside of the village limits will see their rates go increase $67.50. An additional hike is expected in 2021. The increase is to pay off a loan for the new water main replacement project.

 

 

(Urbana-cf)-- The new format of the IHSA boys tournament starting in 2021 will all be completed in one weekend. There are also plans for other events to happen during that weekend in Champaign, and surrounding communities… 

 

 

Visit Champaign President and CEO Jayne DeLuce. 

 

 

(Danville-jm) -- Danville Area Community College is offering commercial refrigeration training this summer. The training will take place Wednesday and Thursday nights starting July 15th through September 17th from 6-9:15 at the DACC Technology Center. Cost is $750 plus books. For more information about the program or financial assistance call 217-554-1628.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Ford County Public Health Department is asking the public to once again collect dead birds for testing for the West Nile Virus. Every summer the health department collects dead birds to be sent off for testing for the virus. Christy Wallace with the Ford County Public Health Department says there are some criteria for collecting dead birds…

 

 

Christy Wallace with the Ford County Public Health Department. If you suspect you have a dead bird that could be used for testing, call the health department at 217-379-9281.

 

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Nominations are being sought for the Illinois Outdoor Hall of Fame. Since 2002, the Illinois Conservation Foundation has been accepting nominations for the fame. Nominees should have shown improved conservation efforts or outdoor recreation opportunities in Illinois. Nominations are due by July 8th and can be found online at il conservation dot org slash who we are slash outdoor hall of fame.

 

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Illinois' minimum wage will go up this week

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois’ minimum wage will go up this week. The raise is part of Governor J-B Pritzker's efforts to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Starting Wednesday, the minimum wage will go to $10 an hour then go up again on January 1st until it reaches $15 in 2025.

 

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois reported 738 new cases of Coronavirus and 14 additional deaths bringing the state’s total to 142,461 cases and 6,902 deaths. Locally, McLean County reported 2 new cases bringing their total number to 258. Vermilion County is reporting 8 new cases bringing their total number to 62. Ford County is reporting 2 new cases bringing their total number to 32. Livingston County is reporting 1 new case bringing their total number to 45. Kankakee County is reporting 8 new cases bringing their total number to 1,350. Champaign County reported 22 new cases bringing their total number to 854. 

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health and some local health departments are reporting cases in our area communities. 188 are in Rantoul, 52 in Clifton, 44 in Mahomet, 18 in Watseka, 15 each in Onarga and Chebanse, 11 in Ashkum, 10 in Paxton, 8 in St. Joseph, 7 each in Gilman, Hoopeston and Crescent City, 6 each in Gibson City, Ludlow and Danforth, 3 each in Fisher and Thomasboro and 1 each Gifford and Penfield.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Winter wheat harvesting is more than halfway complete as we hear in the weekly crop report. Rainfall was above normal this past week but producers were able to get time in the fields for harvesting, says State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. One percent of corn is silking and 67 percent of the crop is in good to excellent condition. 96 percent of soybeans have emerged and 10 percent are blooming. Average statewide topsoil moisture now stands at six percent very short, 18 percent short, 66 percent adequate and 10 percent surplus.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Paxton first responders were called to a single vehicle accident on Paxton’s south side Monday afternoon. Emergency personnel were called to the accident at Route 45 and Green Street around 4:30 pm. No word on if there were any injuries. It was Paxton emergency personnels 3rd accident in 4 days. Friday evening they were called to a fatal accident on I-57 south of town. Sunday afternoon they were called to a motorcycle vs car on Route 9 just east of town.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- A Rantoul man pleaded not guilty in Champaign County court Monday to child sex charges. Ronald Dulske is charged with predatory criminal sexual assault and aggravated criminal sexual abuse. Police say the incident took place back in 2016.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Businesses affected by the Coronavirus pandemic can receive help from the state. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City says a grant has been made available…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois State Fire Marshal’s Office is awarding $3.5 million in grants to 154 fire departments and EMS providers including some locally. The Sangamon Valley Fire Protection District in Fisher will receive just over $24,000. The Melvin Fire Protection District will receive over $18,500. The Papineau Fire Protection District in Iroquois County will receive just over $19,000. The Chatsworth and Forrest-Strawn-Wing Fire Protection Districts in Livingston County each received just over $25,000. 

 

 

(Boone, Iowa-jm) -- The 2020 Farm Progress Show has been canceled because of the Coronavirus. The largest farm show in the Midwest was scheduled to take place September 1-3 in Boone Iowa. The 2021 show will take place at Progress City in Decatur August 31 through September 2.

 

 

(Gilman-jm) -- As the state starts to reopen many businesses and municipalities are looking at the financial impact the shutdown has had. Gilman Mayor Rick Theesfield says they are starting to see some signs of improvement…

 

 

Gilman Mayor Rick Theesfield.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Paxton police have released their recent activity report. On June 21st Michael Rutledge, 43, of Paxton was arrested for aggravated battery after he allegedly attacked a person with a tire iron in a road rage incident. On June 20th, Waltor Rygula, 21, Plainfield Illinois was arrested for DUI and endangering the life and wellbeing of a child and ticketed for illegal transportation of alcohol and improper lane usage following a traffic stop at Route 9 and 1650 East. On June 17th, Ryan Nesby, 25, of Paxton was arrested for aggravated domestic battery and child endangerment. On June 16th, Jonathan Brooks, 20, of Paxton was cited for driving with a revoked license following a traffic stop at Taft and Pells. On June 14th, Joshua James, 23, of Bourbonnais Illinois was ticketed for driving with no valid license and failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident after he struck a tree in the 600 block of S. Park Street. On June 13th, Dustin Sapp, 33, of Georgetown was ticketed for driving with no valid license and failure to signal when required following a traffic stop at Pells and Winter.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Unemployment rates rose in May however, the number of jobs available fell in all of the state’s metro areas. Locally the unemployment rate rose from 3.2 percent to 10.1 percent in Champaign County. In Ford County that number rose from 3.3 percent to 10.9 percent. In Vermilion County it rose from 4.2 percent to 14.8 percent. In Iroquois County it rose from 3.3 percent to 8.5 percent.

 

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois reported 738 new cases of Coronavirus and 14 additional deaths bringing the state’s total to 142,461 cases and 6,902 deaths. As for active and recovered cases locally, McLean County reported 236 have recovered with 9 remaining in isolation. Vermilion County is reporting 41 have been released from isolation, 18 remain in isolation with 1 hospitalized. Ford County is reporting 25 have been released with 6 remaining in isolation. Livingston County reported 37 have recovered with 6 active cases. Iroquois County reported 132 have recovered with 20 remaining in isolation. Kankakee County is reporting 977 have recovered with 310 active cases and 8 hospitalized. Champaign County is reporting 742 have recovered, 100 cases remain active with 12 hospitalized.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- No additional deaths were reported locally Monday. McLean County has 13 deaths, Vermilion County has 2 deaths, Ford County has 1 death, Livingston County has 2 deaths, Iroquois County has 5 deaths, Kankakee County has 63 deaths. Champaign County has 12 deaths.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Winter wheat harvesting is more than halfway complete as we hear in the weekly crop report. With more than five days suitable for fieldwork this past week, winter wheat harvesting advanced by 37 points to 63 percent done. State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener turns to corn…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 68 percent of the soybean crop is rated in good to excellent condition. Average statewide topsoil moisture is now at six percent very short, 18 percent short, 66 percent adequate and 10 percent surplus.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Rantoul police are asking for the public’s help in regards to an incident of shots fired over the weekend. Police were called to the 700 block of Pacesetter Drive just after 9pm Friday evening. On scene, officers located 3 spent shell casings. Anyone with information is asked to call Rantoul police. 

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Also in Rantoul, police are investigating a pair of robberies Sunday night in the village. Around 11 pm, officers were called to the 00 block of Mahoning Drive after the victim reported he was leaving his house when he was approached by three men, who struck the victim in the face multiple times before taking a cell phone. The suspects were described as hispanic males. Less than an hour later, a pizza delivery driver was approached by two males in the 600 block of Willow Pond Road. The men struck the driver several times in the face and took nearly $200. The suspects in this incident were described as two black males. Anyone with information on either robberies are asked to call Rantoul police.

 

 

(Champaign-cf)-- CU at Home in Champaign is a Men’s Homeless shelter that gives homeless individuals in Champaign-Urbana plus surrounding communities shelter, fresh water, and meals. Director of CU at Home Rob Dalhaus describes how relationships are built with their street outreach team that operates 24 hours a day…

 

 

 Director of CU at Home Rob Dalhaus(Dol-House) 

 

 

(Ashkum-jm) -- District 21 Illinois State Police are releasing results of recent enforcement patrols. During Special Traffic Enforcement Patrols, 1 citation was issued for occupant restraint violation and 31 cited for speeding. During Occupant Restraint Enforcement Patrols 41 citations were issued for occupant restraint violations.

 

 

(Ludlow-jm) -- Ludlow has a new village board member. Tom Fultz was officially sworn in at the June meeting. Fultz replaces Nancy Cox who resigned earlier this year.

 

 

(St. Joe-cf)-- The Village of St. Joseph will be expanding their sewage plant. They will be updating the equipment, and adding on to the existing plant says Mayor Tami Fruhling… 

 

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St. Joseph Mayor Tami Fruhling.

 

 

(Mahomet-jm) -- The Champaign County Forest Preserve has purchased 93 acres of wooded area along the Sangamon River once part of the Hidden River mansion development in Mahomet. The preserve paid $6,000 per acre through a grant from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation. The area won’t become a park but will be available to the public.

 

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The Illinois State Fire Marshal's office is urging all health care providers to report any fireworks injuries this summer

(Springfield-jm) --  Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs told attendees of a recent chamber of commerce event that the state needs a progressive income tax because it would allow for the taxation of retirement income above a certain level. Frerichs told a group of around 100 people at the Des Plaines Chamber of Commerce’s Mid-Year Economic Summit that passing the progressive tax ballot initiative would allow the state to tax the retirement income of wealthier Illinoisans without hitting middle-class seniors on fixed incomes, according to the Daily Herald. Illinois is one of a handful of states that does not tax retirement or pension income as taxable revenue.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- State Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike says not wearing a mask in public is like playing Russian Roulette. Wearing a facial covering around other people is one of the best things you can do to help prevent spread of the Coronavirus, but some still refuse says Dr Ezike…

 

 

Illinois Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike. Ezike says it’s everyone’s social responsibility to do the right thing and adds that scientists still don’t know the long term effects of COVID-19.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- As the state looks to borrow $300 million to pay out unemployment claims through the end of the month and up to $3.8 billion through September, it has paid out more than $7 billion in unemployment benefits, mostly from federal funds so far during the pandemic. About 1.4 million Illinoisans have applied for unemployment benefits since March. On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Labor reported 46,000 people in Illinois had filed for unemployment, that’s about 1,300 more than the week before.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Students will return to the classroom in the fall in Illinois. The Governor’s office along with the Illinois State Board of Education unveiled guidelines this past week says 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

 

(Rural Paxton-jm) -- One person is dead following a single vehicle accident near Paxton Friday evening. Emergency crews were called to the accident on I-57 just south of the construction zone at the bridge around 6:30 pm. No word on if there were any injuries. The accident remains under investigation. 

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- A rally and march for black lives was held Sunday in Rantoul. Marchers walked from the police station to Wabash Park. Speakers from the community also addressed the crowd at the park.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- The village of Rantoul has approved a pair of agreements with an engineering company for some projects. Village trustees approved an agreement with Hutchison Engineering for $29,000 for sidewalk design improvements along Maplewood Drive and $57,770 for roadway improvements along Congress and Sheldon.

 

 

(Paxton-cf)-- The streetscape Project in Paxton has been on hold since the start of the Pandemic. The planning was in the environmental stage of the project. Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold has the update on the latest on the streetscape project… 

 

Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is announcing the expansion of newborn screenings. Starting today, IDPH says every baby born in Illinois will be tested for Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Spinal Muscular Atrophy affects 1 in 11,000 births and is a hereditary disease that progressively destroys motor neurons resulting in muscle weakness.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Democrats run nine of the 10 states with the highest unemployment rates, The Wall Street Journal editorial board wrote. These states have implemented the most severe restrictions during their state’s emergency shutdown orders and are showing little-to-no signs of economic recovery. Compared to the national unemployment rate in May of 13 percent, Nevada’s, run by a Democratic governor, is nearly double at 25.3 percent. Also run by Democratic governors are Hawaii (22.6%), Michigan (21.2%), California and Rhode Island (16.3%), Delaware (15.8%), Illinois and New Jersey (15.2%), and Washington (15.1%).

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois State Fire Marshal’s office is urging all health care providers to report any fireworks injuries this summer. It’s important to collect this data says Fire Marshal Spokesperson JC Fultz…

 

 

Illinois State Fire Marshal’s Office Spokesperson JC Fultz. Healthcare facilities reported 126 people with fireworks injuries around the 4th of July last year in Illinois and one death.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- As Illinois enters the next reopening phase with continued COVID-19 restrictions in public places, the state’s public health director said Illinoisans not wanting to wear a mask are risking the lives of everyone else. The governor called businesses not following his orders “scofflaws.” Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said Illinois should get “comfy” with COVID-restrictions. Illinois won’t enter Phase 5 with all restrictions lifted until there is a vaccine, widely available treatment or widespread immunity, according to Pritzker.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is reopening on Wednesday. The museum will open it’s doors to visitors and feature a new exhibit about spies and terrorism in America. There will be new safety protocols in place says Spokesperson Chris Wills, and you will have to buy your tickets in advance…

 

 

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum Spokesperson Chris Wills. The children’s play area will be closed and the number of theatre performances will be reduced to allow time for cleaning. The presidential library will be open by appointment only. Visit: president lincoln dot illinois dot gov for more information.

 

(Cissna Park-dg)-Eat, Drink, Shop Local. That’s been the theme around the area during the COVID-19 Pandemic. The Village of Cissna Park is pleased to announce through the $10,000 donation each from Frederick Community Bank and IGSE that if you buy a gift certificate from a participating business, there are funds to provide you with a matching gift certificate. Contact the Cissna Park Economic Development Board for more information.

 

 

(Iroquois County-jm) -- A Gilman man and an Onarga man have been arrested in separate incidents. 27 year old Ricardo Medina was arrested by Iroquois County Sheriff’s police on a Kankakee County warrant for driving while license suspended. 41 year old Brandon Bennett of Onarga was arrested by Iroquois County Sheriff’s police for DUI, driving while license revoked and possession of a controlled substance.


 

(Urbana-jm) -- A Rantoul man is expected to be arraigned in Champaign County court today on charges he sexually molested a girl back in 2016. 27 year old Ronald Dulske is charged with predatory criminal sexual assault of a child and aggravated criminal sexual abuse. Dulske was arrested Friday and bond was set at $250,000 and bonded out over the weekend. If convicted he faces up to 60 years in prison.

 

 

(Paxton-cf)-- Planting season this year has been a lot better for farmers across East Central Illinois with dryer conditions than what we had last planting season. It’s led to farmers getting almost all of their crops in, leaving a few replants with the rain showers that we had late May says Ford-Iroquois Farm Bureau Manager David Treece… 

 

 

Ford-Iroquois Farm Bureau Manager David Treece

 

(Gilman-jm) -- The City of Gilman will purchase a new surveillance camera system for the city’s brush site. The city is hoping that along with the purchase of a new gate will help control illegal dumping at the site.

 

 

(Champaign-cf)-- It’s a little too early to give price estimates on this year's corn and soybean crops in the area. But there is one thing farmers are watching over prices and its stands, Champaign County Farm Bureau Manager Brad Uken fills us in… 

 

 

 Champaign County Farm Bureau Manager Brad Uken

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Nicor Gas has announced they are offering additional assistance to customers affected by COVID-19. The company says they will be offering one time grants of up to $300 toward past due balances for income eligible customers and residential customers can pay off past due balances with 24 monthly installments without a down payment. The move comes after the company announced in March they are offering flexible payment plans and bill payment assistance.

 

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Phase four of Governor J-B Pritzker's "Restore Illinois" plan begins today

(Springfield-jm) -- Phase four of Governor J-B Pritzker’s “Restore Illinois” plan begins today in Illinois. Phase four means indoor dining, youth sports, gatherings of up to 50 people and museums, theatres, fitness centers, bowling alleys and more can open back up with limited capacity. But the Governor says that does not mean people can stop wearing a mask and social distancing when possible…

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Governor Pritzker says if COVID cases begin to spike again, he will not hesitate to move Illinois back to tighter restrictions.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois reported 894 new COVID-19 cases and 41 additional deaths Thursday. McLean County reported 1 new case bringing their total number to 254. Vermilion County also reported 1 new case bringing their total number to 50. Livingston County reported 2 new cases bringing their total number to 44. Kankakee County reported 45 new cases bringing their total number to 1,300. Iroquois County reported 4 new cases bringing their total number to 155. Champaign County is reporting 9 new cases bringing their total number to 815.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health along with area health departments are reporting cases in area communities. In Ford County 8 cases are reported in Paxton and 6 in Gibson City. In Iroquois County 52 are reported in Clifton, 16 in Watseka, 15 in Onarga, 14 in Chebanse, 10 in Ashkum, 7 in Crescent City and 6 each in Gilman, Danforth and Beaverville. In Livingston County, 18 are in Pontiac and 6 in Fairbury. In Vermilion County, 32 are in Danville. In Champaign County, 184 are in Rantoul, 6 in Ludlow, 3 in Fisher, 2 in Thomasboro, 38 in Mahomet, 6 in St. Joseph and 1 each in Gifford and Penfield.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is launching a new tool to help assess the threat of the Coronavirus in your area. The risk assessment tool provides information like the number of new cases in your county, ER visits with virus like symptoms and whether there have been any clusters of infection. State Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike says it’s displayed as a map...

 

Illinois Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike. To access the information, visit: dph dot illinois dot gov slash county metrics.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Gaming Board announced public casino gambling and video gaming can resume at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, July 1. Casinos and terminal operators have provided a Pandemic Resumption plan to the IGB that will guide their operations when gaming resumes. 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Since the beginning of March, about 1.4 million Illinoisans have filed for unemployment benefits, driven by the governor’s orders restricting sectors of the economy during the coronavirus pandemic. As the Illinois economy slowly opens up, people are returning to work. As of June 13, more than 705,000 workers remained unemployed. Last week, there were 1.5 million new unemployment claims nationwide, compared to 6.9 million during the peak of the pandemic. A study by the website WalletHub, using three metrics, attempts to identify which states' work forces experienced the quickest recovery in unemployment claims since last week and since the pandemic began. Illinois ranked 22nd in the country in the quickest job recovery since last week, and ninth since the pandemic began.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- The latest USDA dairy outlook projects increased production and stronger prices. Rod Bain has the latest…

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Amtrak is cutting service routes nationally later this year to three times a week instead of daily due to lower ridership numbers. One of the routes affected is the City of New Orleans which has stops in Gilman, Rantoul and Champaign. The changes start October 1st and could last through next year.

 

(Urbana-jm) -- A second lawsuit filed against two U of I social workers by the estate of Yingying Zhang has been dismissed. The family of the slain Chinese scholar filed a lawsuit in federal court but that lawsuit was dismissed. The family then filed the lawsuit in state court. Zhang’s family says the two social workers didn't do enough to prevent Brendt Christiansen from kidnapping and killing Zhang three years ago. He was sentenced to life in prison.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- It may be June but the Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce is gearing up for some fall activities. One of the activities making a return is the halloween trick or treating in downtown says Director Amanda Vickery…

 

 

Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Amanda Vickery.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- A Rantoul man has been arrested on child pornography charges. 55 year old Dwayne White is being held by federal authorities on possession, distribution and trafficking of child pornography. His case will go before a grand jury next month. 

 

 

(Gilman-jm) -- Some streets in Gilman will receive some work this summer. The city council approved spending over $127,000 to repave East Front Street, North Hartwell and North Maple.

 

Gilman townwide garage sales will take place today and tomorrow

 

Paxton IGA will hold a cookout benefiting Paxton Knights of Columbus Council tomorrow from 10-2.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois reported 894 new COVID-19 cases and 41 additional deaths Thursday. As for active and recovered cases locally...in McLean County 228 have recovered with 12 in isolation. In Vermilion County, 41 have been released from isolation, 6 remain in isolation and 1 is hospitalized. In Livingston County, 36 have been removed from isolation and 6 are active. In Kankakee County, 971 have recovered, 266 are active with 10 hospitalized. In Iroquois County, 125 have recovered, 22 are in isolation and 3 are hospitalized. In Ford County, 21 have been released from isolation and 5 remain in isolation. In Champaign County, 724 have recovered, 79 are active and 9 are hospitalized.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J.B. Pritzker said Illinois isn’t “punishing” nonprofits by reducing their state payouts based on the federal payroll loans they’ve received. Both Republicans and Democrats are pressuring Pritzker’s office to stop reducing or delaying state reimbursements to nonprofits, such as foster care providers and facilities that care for people with special needs, that had Payment Protection Program loans forgiven.  

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Democrats and Republicans will bring a mix of ideas to the newly formed Restore Illinois Collaborative Commission, which will provide recommendations for reviving the state’s economy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. For months, Gov. J.B. Pritzker has been using his executive authority to decide how the state’s economy should operate during the pandemic. During the truncated legislative special session last month in Springfield, lawmakers passed a bill the governor signed that creates the Restore Illinois Collaborative Commission, which puts a group of lawmakers together with the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.The commission has 14 members, eight Democrats and six Republicans split evenly from the House and Senate. The commission’s first report through the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is due July 1.

 

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- A Danville man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for a violent home invasion in Rantoul. Willie Barfield received the sentence after he pleaded guilty in February to entering the home in December and stabbing a resident in the shoulder while he was under the influence of alcohol. As part of his plea deal, prosecutors capped the sentencing recommendation to 10 years, instead of the 30 years he could have faced, and dismissed a count of aggravated battery to a peace officer after he allegedly bit an arresting officer. Barfield was given credit for 193 days served.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Officials are reminding everyone to fill out your census. Census takers will soon be going to your doorstep if you haven’t already filled it out. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City talks about the importance of filling out the census…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

(Champaign-jm) -- When work intrudes after hours in the form of pings and buzzes from smartphone alerts, it can cause spikes of stress that lead to a host of adverse effects for workers, including negative work rumination, poor affect and insomnia. But according to research co-written by a team of researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign who study occupational stress and employee well-being, those who have greater “boundary control” over their work and personal lives were better at creating a stress buffer that helped protect them from falling into a negative-rumination trap. 

 

(Mahomet-jm) -- The 2020 Mahomet Music Festival is canceled due to the Coronavirus. The two day music festival was scheduled to take place August 28th and 29th. Organizers say they are already planning next year’s event.

 

A Cruise night will take place tonight in downtown Gibson City. There will also be live music.

 

Bayles Lake Community Garage Sales will take place tomorrow from 8-1.

 

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Illinois won't be restriction-free until there is an effective treatment or vaccine for COVID-19 under Governor J.B. Pritzker's reopening plan

(Springfield-jm) --  Illinois won't be restriction-free until there is an effective treatment or vaccine for COVID-19 under Governor J.B. Pritzker's reopening plan, but it's not yet clear on how long that could take. There were distinct timelines laid out in the governor’s reopening plan to move from Phase 2 to Phase 3 and then to Phase 4. But to get to Phase 5, when all restrictions would be lifted, there needs to be an effective treatment, a vaccine or widespread immunity. Pritzker urges hospitals across the state to take part in research trials for treatments. Pritzker says he wants everyone to get a vaccine, but said he’ll consult with the White House's top expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, on the issue. 715 new cases were reported in Illinois yesterday bringing the state’s total number to 138,540. There were also 64 additional deaths bringing the total to 6,770. Locally Champaign County reported 10 new cases bringing their total to 806. Iroquois County reported 6 new cases bringing their total number to 151. Livingston County reported 2 new cases bringing their total number to 42. Kankakee County reported 9 new cases and 2 additional deaths bringing their total number of cases to 1,255 and 63 deaths.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker is announcing 50 million dollars in grants to kick off the state’s largest ever broadband expansion effort. Big cities shouldn’t be the only places that have high speed internet says the Governor…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. This first round of grants plus matching dollars will go towards 28 projects around the state. It’s part of the state’s “Connect Illinois” effort to bring internet access to all parts of Illinois by 2024.


 

(Springfield-jm) -- Fatal crash rates increased in Illinois in April despite a significant drop in traffic while the state remained under a stay-at-home order. Preliminary estimates from the National Safety Council show a year-over-year 36.6% increase nationally in fatality rates per miles driven in April, in spite of an 18% drop in the total number of roadway deaths compared to April 2019. Illinois’ fatality rate rose 6 percent. The actual number of miles driven dropped 40% compared to the same time period last year. For the three-day Independence Day holiday period starting July 2, the National Safety Council estimates 405 potential fatalities, with alcohol as an expected primary factor in nearly 40% of the deaths.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health says now is the time to take care of your family’s medical needs. Get your child’s back to school physical scheduled if you haven’t already done so says State Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike…

 

 

Illinois Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike. Ezike says adults should resume their usual checks including physicals, mammograms, colonoscopies and recommended vaccinations as well.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Dairy Business Innovation Alliance is providing Midwestern dairy farmers and dairy related businesses with financial and technical support. The group's goals are to increase farm diversification, create value added dairy products such as specialty cheeses and focus on export opportunities for dairy products. More information is available online.

 

 

(Paxton-cf)-- The Paxton Grand Old Flag Project is still accepting donations for the project. Organizer Denny Kingern has the details of how you can donate…

 

 

The Grand Old Flag Project Organizer Denny Kingern

 

 

(Champaign-cf)-- The CU at Home Men’s homeless shelter had plans to start operating year round around November 1st of this year. However, with the COVID-19 Pandemic the decision was made to go year round starting this week. CU at Home Director Rob Dalhous explains how that decision was made in partnership with Austins Place… 

 

 

CU at Home Director Rob Dalhaus(Dol-House) 

 

 

(Danville-jm) -- OSF Sacred Heart Medical Center in Danville has received the Patient Safety Excellence Award from Healthgrades. The distinction places the hospital in the top 10 percent of all short-term acute care hospitals based on 14 preventable events. In 2020, only 456 hospitals across the nation achieved this distinction.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- How has agriculture benefited from US trade deals? Stephanie Ho reports… 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- With more than half of the state’s total COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes, state public health officials said they are making progress to address the issues. Last week, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said the state’s policy was to have COVID-19 patients transferred from hospitals back to nursing homes after they recovered. Those people were still isolated when they returned to the long-term care facility. Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said there are 25 facilities where such patients are transferred and the state is making progress. The latest data from IDPH on COVID-19 and long-term care facilities showed there were a total of 21,390 positive cases and 3,649 deaths. As for local active and recovered cases, Champaign County is reporting 772 have recovered with 72 active and 9 hospitalized. Vermilion County is reporting 41 have been released from isolation with 5 in isolation and 1 hospitalized. Livingston County is reporting 36 have been removed from isolation and 4 are active. McLean County is reporting 228 have recovered and 12 are in isolation. Iroquois County is reporting 125 have recovered, 19 are in isolation and 2 are hospitalized. In Ford County 21 have been released from isolation and 5 are in isolation. In Kankakee County, 960 have recovered, 232 are active with 7 hospitalized.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- While some are looking for more direction from the state when it comes to getting kids back in the classroom, Governor J-B Pritzker says they want schools to be able to design their own unique plans. The Governor says what might work for one district may not work for another, and that’s why the state issued broad recommendations…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Governor Pritzker acknowledges it won’t be easy to keep students wearing masks all day.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois’ health care system is “critically low” on blood and an official said it could affect the availability of non-emergency procedures if it gets worse. As of Wednesday, no Illinois hospitals had publicly announced any restrictions on non-emergency procedures. Some blood centers in the state  had less than a one-day supply or maybe a two-day supply of O negative or O positive and some other blood types as well.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- As more people may be apt to put on their own show at home, the Illinois State Fire Marshal’s Office is warning about the dangers of fireworks. Many communities have cancelled their big fireworks shows, so there is some concern about backyard use says Fire Marshal Spokesperson J-C Fultz. He says only novelty items like snappers, poppers and sparklers are legal in Illinois…

 

 

Illinois State Fire Marshal Spokesperson J-C Fultz. Fultz says any other types of fireworks should only be used by those with a permit and the proper training.

 

 

(Gilman-jm) -- The city of Gilman will be adding surveillance cameras to their brush pile site. Mayor Rick Theesfield says that’s in addition to a new gate…

 

 

Gilman Mayor Rick Theesfield.

 

 

(St. Joe-cf)-- The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted a lot of communities in the nation. The Village of St. Joseph has dealt with the same issues many communities have. St. Joseph Mayor Tami Fruhling gives an update as to how the community has responded to the pandemic, and the shut downs that occurred… 

 

 

St. Joseph Mayor Tami Fruhling

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Rantoul’s village clerk has been elected to an international organization. Janet Gray was elected to the board of directors of the International Institute of Municipal Clerks, an organization with over 15,000 members worldwide. Gray will serve a three year term. Her region covers Illinois, Missouri and Kansas. Gray has been Rantoul’s deputy clerk since 1997.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- The latest USDA report shows gains in meat production. Rod Bain has the details…

 

 

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The State Department of Public Health says COVID-19 numbers in Illinois have really improved

(Springfield-jm) -- The State Department of Public Health says COVID-19 numbers in Illinois have really improved. 601 new cases were announced Tuesday. That compares to the daily total of about four thousand new cases reported six weeks ago. Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike says more testing is being done…

 

State Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike. Ezike says less COVID patients are in the hospital, with about 16 hundred in now compared to more than five thousand at the end of April. Locally, Iroquois County reported 2 new cases bringing their total number to 145. Kankakee County reported 5 new cases bringing their total to 1,246. Champaign County reported 17 new bringing their total to 796.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is announcing $85 million in new grants to help businesses and communities recover. $60 million will be granted to 3,500 businesses as part of the Business Interruption Grant program to help businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. $25 million is being awarded through the Rebuild Distressed Communities program to help businesses that sustained damage as a result of the recent civil unrest. Applications are due by July 7th. More details can be found online at illinois dot gov slash dceo.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The state is announcing plans for students to return to school in the fall. The guidelines cover Kindergarten through High School, colleges and universities. They require social distancing when possible, no more than 50 in one space at a time and masks for all students and staff…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Districts will be able to set up their own policies and schedules for returning to class. Governor Pritzker says schools should also be prepared to resume remote learning in case there is a resurgence of the virus.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Rantoul police are investigating a third shooting in the village this week. Police were called to the 1600 block of Kessler Drive just before midnight Monday night for a report of a house struck by gunfire. Multiple shell casings were found at the scene. Earlier in the day a 17 year old was shot in the leg on Harper Drive. Sunday, several shots were fired at a home on Abram Drive. Anyone with information on any of the shootings are asked to call Rantoul Police.

 

 

(Ford County-jm) -- While the impacts of the Coronavirus on sales tax revenues aren’t yet known many municipalities and counties are bracing for a major hit. Ford County Board Chairman Robert Lindgren says they don’t know the exact amount yet but they know it is affecting every community in the county…

 

 

Ford County Board Chairman Robert Lindgren.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Voters in Rantoul may have a referendum on the ballot in November. Voters approved a districting referendum in 2018 to divide the village into 6 wards with one trustee from each district beginning in April 2021. The village board learned at their June meeting they may have to put a referendum question on the November ballot on whether or not to have those terms staggered.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- The Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce is reaching out to businesses in the Rantoul area. Chamber Director Amanda Vickery talks about why you should join the chamber…

 

 

Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Amanda Vickery.

 

 

(Onarga-jm) -- A decision on recreational marijuana sales in the Iroquois County village of Onarga could happen as soon as next month. The village has been looking at the issue for several months.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency is announcing two funding opportunities for projects to improve water quality. Up to $5 million will be awarded annually through the Green Infrastructure Grant while $4.5 million will be awarded through the Nonpoint Source Pollution Control grant. The Green Infrastructure Grant was part of Governor J-B Pritzker’s Rebuild Illinois program. The Nonpoint Source Pollution Control grant provides money to protect surface and groundwater quality.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Secretary of State Jesse White’s office is urging the public to sign up to receive license plate sticker renewal reminders by email. Instead of getting a postcard, you can get your notice delivered electronically says Secretary of State Spokesperson Henry Haupt…

 

 

Secretary of State Spokesperson Henry Haupt. From there, it’s easy to renew your sticker online says Haupt. Visit cyber drive illinois dot com for more information.

 

 

(Ludlow-jm) -- Ludlow will receive additional state funding for infrastructure improvements. The village will receive over $24,000 over the next three years through the Rebuild Illinois program and will be distributed through IDOT.

 

 

(Urbana-cf)-- The IHSA Boys State Tournament started at the Assembly Hall on the University of Illinois' campus in 1919, and was moved to the Peoria Civic Center in 1995. The tournament will be back in Champaign Urbana for the 2021 tournament and Visit Champaign President and CEO Jayne DeLuce says there will be new memories and traditions made with the return of the tournament… 

 

 

Visit Champaign President and CEO Jayne DeLuce. 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- Students applying for fall 2021 freshman admission to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will not be required to submit SAT or ACT test results due to the COVID-19 pandemic limiting students’ opportunities to take the exams. The change was supported by the university’s Academic Senate and approved by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees as a one-year exception. 

 

 

(Paxton-cf)-- As planting for the 2020 season concludes, there will be more farmers in the fields spraying their crops in the next few weeks. A popular chemical sprayed on soybeans, Dicamba, has made national headlines recently and Ford Iroquois Farm Bureau manager David Treece updates us on the dicamba confusion… 

 

 

Ford-Iroquois Farm Bureau Manager David Treece

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Rantoul police and Champaign County Crimestoppers are seeking information on shots fired in the village over the weekend. Police were called 1300 block of Abrams Drive about 12:30 Sunday morning for a report of shots fired. When they arrived, they found an occupied home had been struck multiple times. Anyone with information is asked to call Rantoul Police or Champaign County Crimestoppers.

 

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Governor J-B Pritzker has released guidelines for businesses as the state moves into phase four starting Friday

(Springfield-jm) -- A new report places Illinois among the states most reliant on property taxes for revenue. According to 2017 figures, the most recent data available, compiled by the Tax Foundation, Illinois ranks 11th in that category and no better in other areas. Illinois actually ranked No. 8 in the U.S. on property tax collections per capita in fiscal year 2017 and it was No. 1 in the Midwest. Another measure looked at property taxes paid as a percentage of housing value. On that one, Illinois is second in the nation at 2.05%.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker has released guidelines for businesses as the state moves into phase four starting Friday. Phase four allows meetings and events at a capacity of 50% or less than 50 people depending on size of the location, bowling alleys and clubhouses can reopen and 50% capacity or less than 50 people depending on the size of the location, indoor dining at 25% capacity, museums and zoos can open at 25% capacity with no interactive exhibits, theatres can open at overall theatre at 50% capacity and concessions are permitted with restrictions. Youth sports guidelines were revised to include games and tournaments with venues operating at 50% capacity and 20% capacity for seating. Gyms can also open at 50% capacity. Face coverings and social  distancing will still be required.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The deadline to file your taxes is fast approaching. With the Coronavirus pandemic, the IRS and State Department of Revenue gave a three month extension, to July 15th, to file your taxes. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City says the state Department of Revenue has several ways they can help you…

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois reported 462 cases of Coronavirus and 26 additional deaths Monday bringing the state’s total number of cases to 137,224 and total number of deaths to 6,671. Locally, Ford County reported 4 new cases bringing their total number to 27. Champaign County reported 18 new cases bringing their total number to 779. McLean County reported 3 new cases bringing their total number to  253. Vermilion County reported 3 new cases bringing their total number to 49. Livingston County had 1 new case bringing their total number to 40. Kankakee County reported 6 new cases bringing their total number to 1,241. Iroquois County reported no new cases leaving their total number at 143.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Of the 2,532 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the WPXN listening area, 182 are in Rantoul, 23 in Mahomet, 14 in Watseka, 13 each in Onarga and Chebanse, 10 in Ashkum, 8 in Paxton, 7 in Crescent City, 6 each in Ludlow, St. Joseph, Gilman, Danforth and Beaverville, 3 in Fisher, 2 in Thomasboro and 1 each in Gifford and Penfield.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Soybean planting is almost done as we hear in the weekly crop report. 97 percent of soybean acres have been planted says Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. Corn fell to 59 percent in good to excellent condition. 26 percent of winter wheat has been harvested and the first cutting of alfalfa is wrapping up. Average statewide topsoil moisture was drier and is rated at seven percent very short, 26 percent short, 63 percent adequate and four percent surplus.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Rantoul police are investigating a shooting in the village Monday afternoon. Police were called to the 1600 block of Harper Drive just after 1pm for a report of shots fired. When they arrived they found a 17 year old with gunshot wound to his lower body. He was taken to Carle Hospital with non life threatening injuries. Anyone with information is asked to call Rantoul Police.

 

 

(Paxton-cf)-- The Grand Old Flag Project in Paxton, has a new date of when the flag will be displayed. The new date is scheduled for September 13, there will be a parade before the ceremony says organizer Denny Kingren… 

 

 

Grand Old Flag Project Organizer Denny Kingren

 

 

(Champaign-cf)-- The COVID-19 has impacted the nation in a variety of ways. CU at Home Director Rob Dalhous says that the virus has caused a lot of anxiety, and that they are doing their best to get the right information to the patrons of CU at HOme… 

 

 

 

 CU at Home Director Rob Dalhaus(Dol-House) 

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The City of Paxton will begin spraying for mosquitoes on Tuesdays and Thursdays starting today. City crews will be spraying between 7 and 9 pm through the summer.

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois has been ranked as one of the least patriotic states in America, according to a new study. Illinois ranked at number 41. WalletHub compared the 50 states across two key dimensions, '"Military Engagement" and "Civic Engagement." New Hampshire was ranked the most patriotic state in the country. New Jersey was ranked the least patriotic.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois nursing homes can now allow visitors for residents as long as visits remain outdoors, according to new guidance released by the state. According to the rules released, residents are limited to two visitors each. The maximum number of residents and visitors allowed in an outdoor space at one time will depend on the size of the outdoor space. People will be required to keep a six foot distance while outdoors and wear face coverings. Each facility is required to screen and check temperatures of visitors as they arrive.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is urging boaters to stay safe and sober this summer. Kids under 13 must wear a life jacket at all times on boats less than 26 feet in length, and all ages need to wear one while jet skiing. Additionally, Department of Natural Resources Spokesperson Rachel Torbert says your boat driver needs to stay sober…

 

 

Illinois Department of Natural Resources Spokesperson Rachel Torbert. Illinois Conservation Police have already made 17 arrests for driving a boat while drunk this summer. Officers will beef up patrols over the 4th of July holiday.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois reported 462 cases of Coronavirus and 26 additional deaths Monday bringing the state’s total number of cases to 137,224 and total number of deaths to 6,671. As for active and recovered cases locally, in McLean County, 225 have recovered with 15 in isolation. In Vermilion County 36 have been released from isolation, 10 remain in isolation with 1 hospitalized. In Livingston County, 36 have been removed from isolation with 2 active. In Ford County 21 have been released from isolation with 5 in isolation. In Kankakee County, 943 have recovered, 237 remain active with 8 hospitalized. In Champaign County 704 have recovered, 63 are active with 8 hospitalized. In Iroquois County 116 have recovered, 20 are in isolation with 2 hospitalized.

 

 

(Champaign County-jm) -- Champaign County reported another COVID-19 death Monday. That brings the counties total to 12.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Soybean planting is almost done as we hear in the weekly crop report. 60 percent of the soybean crop is rated in good to excellent condition, with 97 percent of acres now planted. Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says 26 percent of winter wheat has been harvested…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 59 percent of corn is rated in good to excellent condition. Average statewide topsoil moisture dropped to seven percent very short, 26 percent short 63 percent adequate and four percent surplus.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Paxton firefighters were called to a house struck by lightning Monday evening. Firefighters received the call at 6:30 and were on scene for about a half hour. No injuries were reported.

 

 

 

(Gilman-jm) -- One area community's summer event is canceled but their fall event may still happen. Gilman Mayor Rick Theesfield talks about the cancellation of this years’ Old Boys and Girls Reunion and the possibility of the Gilman Super Saturday taking place…

 

Gilman Mayor Rick Theesfield.

 

(Gibson City-cf)-- A private committee on the Gibson City Council has raised over $200,000 to open a new skate park. The blueprint of the new skatepark has been released onto the City’s Facebook Page, and Mayor Dan Dickey says they are ready to move forward on the project… 

 

 

Gibson City Mayor Dan Dickey. 

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- An Urbana teen who admitted his role in an attempted drug related robbery in Rantoul has been sentenced to 2 years probation. The 17 year old was one of three teenagers charged in the incident that occurred January 11th in the 1200 block of Aspen Drive that resulted in one of the teenagers getting shot in the leg. Cases against the other two teenagers have not been resolved.

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There will be more help for people struggling to pay their utility bills

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Employment Security is borrowing money from the federal government to continue to meet unemployment benefit payment obligations to those who have lost work due to the COVID-19 pandemic. IDES anticipates borrowing $300 million through the end of June. The state was approved to borrow $3.8 billion through September. Illinois joins 8 other states using the program. The state used the program during the Great Depression in 2008, borrowing $1.4 billion and paying it back in 5 years.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Republicans, who don't have enough votes to block legislation in either of the state's legislative chambers, recently held a virtual convention with plans to focus on the November election. Party Chairman Tim Schneider has declared that Donald Trump is a “man for our time” and cited former President Barack Obama’s recipe for victory. Schneider said the main obstacle Republicans face this fall is the money Gov. J.B. Pritzker has at his disposal. Pritzker has an estimated net worth of more than $3 billion. The party faithful plan to gather Sept. 19 to ratify a party platform and rally for the fall.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- There will be more help for people struggling to pay their utility bills under a new agreement approved by the Illinois Commerce Commission. The agreement covers eight of the state’s major utilities including Ameren and Com-Ed, assisting both qualifying residential and small business customers during the pandemic. ICC Chairwoman Carrie Zalewski says that includes flexible payment plans and reconnecting those who have lost service because of nonpayment at no charge. There’s also help for customers drowning in debt…

 

 

 

Illinois Commerce Commission Chairwoman Carrie Zalewski. A similar agreement has been reached with smaller utility companies in Illinois. Zalewski says you should contact your utility and explain your situation to take advantage of those consumer protections. If you have any problems, contact the ICC for further help.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- The former director of a Rantoul assisted living facility has formally been charged with 5 felony offenses to the alleged theft of thousands of dollars from the facility. Kimberly Cross was charged Friday with one count of participating in a continuing financial crime enterprise, a Class 1 felony, and four counts of forgery, Class 3 felonies. Because the alleged victims are elderly, the penalties are enhanced. The charges stemmed from conduct she allegedly engaged in while she was employed for about a year at the Villas of Holly Brook in Rantoul. If convicted she faces up to 30 years in prison.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Paxton firefighters were called to a vehicle fire Saturday morning. Firefighters were called to the fire at 1240 north Market behind the former Ford County nursing home just after 2:30. No word on the cause of the fire.

 

 

(Paxton-cf)-- The fire that broke out at the city building a few weeks ago did heavy damage to city equipment. Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold gives us the details on some of the equipment as well as the building that was lost… 

 

 

Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- The village of Rantoul is awarding over $291,000 to 26 local businesses to help offset the economic effects of COVID-19. The money comes through the Small Business Stabilization Program. The amounts given out ranged between $3,000 and $15,000.

 

 

(Onarga-jm) -- A street in Onarga will see some work this summer. Evergreen Street will get some repairs says Onarga Village President Shane Cultra…

 

 

Onarga Village President Shane Cultra. The grant is approximately $300,000. The whole project is expected to cost over a million dollars.

 

 

(Ford County-jm) -- The Ford County Board approved their health insurance contract for employees at their June meeting. The new contract calls for a minimal increase for the same coverage as the previous contract. The new contract takes effect July 1st.

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor JB Pritzker recently announced a program that provides another way for Illinoisans with COVID-19 to receive care. The Illinois COVID-19 Virtual Care Program will provide for those infected with COVID-19 and allow them to recover from the safety of their homes. The program aims to reduce barriers to health services for those who do not have a primary care physician. It has a focus on underserved populations and those most at risk during the coronavirus pandemic.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Sen. Napoleon Harris of Harvey has proposed legislation that would make Juneteenth a state holiday. Harris filed Senate Bill 4001 on Friday, which would treat Juneteenth as any other state holiday. If June 19 falls on a Sunday, the following Monday would be considered a holiday. As the result, most state employees and school employees would be given paid leave, but granting time off for Juneteenth would be optional for private employers.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- No need to wait, the State Board of Elections says you can request a mail in ballot for the November election now. The election is months away but Board of Elections Spokesperson Matt Dietrich says you can plan ahead to vote safely…

 

 

State Board of Elections Spokesperson Matt Dietrich. Dietrich says from there the site will walk you through the application. Ballots will be mailed out starting September 24, when early voting begins. Visit elections dot il dot gov for more information.

 

 

(Gilman-jm) -- A Gilman man has been arrested on sex assault charges. Iroquois County Sheriff’s police arrested 57 year old Jorge Casas on charges of aggravated criminal sexual assault and criminal sexual assault. Casas was taken to the Iroquois County Jail.

 

 

(Champaign-cf)-- Last planting season for farmers was very challenging. There were still farmers looking to get into fields for the first time compared to this year when farmers are working on replants. There is however another set of challenges that farmers are going to have to deal with this year, prices, says Champaign County Farm Bureau Manager Brad Uken…. 

 

 

 Champaign County Farm Bureau Manager Brad Uken

 

 

(Crescent City-jm) -- 50 years ago yesterday was the Crescent City train derailment and explosion. On June 21, 1970 16 train cars on an eastbound Toledo, Peoria and Western Railroad line derailed in downtown Crescent City about 6:30 am. 10 of those cars contained 34,000 gallons of liquid propane. 32 fire departments and 234 firefighters fought the fire that damaged several buildings. No one was killed.

 

 

(Gilman-jm) -- The Gilman city council approved liquor licenses at their June meeting. Mayor Rick Theesfield says the city voted to provide some relief to those establishments…

 

 

Gilman Mayor Rick Theesfield.

 

 

(Danville-jm) -- Danville Area Community College will be offering drivers education this summer. The course, for those 15 and over, will be offered July 13-August 13 on Monday through Thursdays from 2:15-4:15 with behind the wheel training also available.

 

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Minimum wage is slated to go up to $10 an hour in Illinois, July 1

(Springfield-jm) -- On July 1, minimum wage in Illinois will go up to $10 an hour as part of a bill signed by Gov. JB Pritzker last February. However, with businesses still recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, some business owners are wondering if this increase should be delayed. According to the United States Census Bureau, retail sales nationwide jumped 17.7% from April to May. Yet, the Illinois Retail Merchants Association says that does not mean businesses across the state can fund this kind of wage increase right now. After the first minimum wage increase to $10 in July, it will continue to go up by a dollar on Jan. 1 every year until 2025.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The state unemployment rate fell in May. The Illinois jobless rate dropped to 15 point two percent last month, down from 17 point two in April. State Department of Employment Security Spokesperson Sam Salustro says more than 62 thousand jobs were added in May…

 

 

Illinois Department of Employment Security Spokesperson Sam Salustro. The national unemployment rate for May came in at 13 point three percent.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois reported 593 new cases of Coronavirus and 55 additional deaths Thursday. Locally, McLean County is reporting 2 new cases bringing their total number to 245. Kankakee County is reporting 1 new case bringing their total number to 1,233. Champaign County is reporting 5 new cases bringing their total number to 760. Champaign County is also reporting an additional death bringing their total number of deaths to 11.

 

 

(Boone, IA- jm) -- The Farm Progress Show is expected to occur as planned this September. The event will take place September 1 through September 3 in Boone, Iowa. Farm Progress Show officials said they are working with Iowa agencies to ensure safety measures are taken during the show to keep everyone healthy. Some of these measures include hand sanitizer stations and enhanced cleaning procedures for buildings and facilities.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- The University of Illinois System is making plans for students and staff to return in the fall. The U of I System says classes will be a mixture of in-person and online learning in the fall. Classrooms will be cleaned and disinfected daily. Reusable, washable masks will be provided to all students and required in all classrooms, and hand sanitizer will be widely available in all buildings. Residence hall occupancy will be limited to two students per room. Dining halls will largely provide packaged meals for carryout, and in-person dining will be limited.

 

 

(Buckley-cf)-- The Buckley Fun days will have a different spin on this year as we continue to live in a world with COVID-19. In place of the Buckley Fun Days, there will be a game card that has different games on it such as Scrabble, ISPY, and an alphabet challenge. Event Organizer Keri Stachura has the details… 

 

 

Game Cards can be found at, The Post Office, and on The Village of Buckley's Facebook Page says Buckley Fun Day Organizer Keri Stachura…

 

 

Buckley Fun Day Organizer Keri Satchura.

 

 

(Gibson City-cf)-- Mclean County Coroner has identified a Gibson City man that was killed in a single car crash on Wednesday morning. Coroner Kathy Yoder said the crash happened at 3400 East near 1800 North Road in Colfax. 28 year old Kaleb Roberts was pronounced dead at 4:45am. Robers died of multiple blunt force injuries after the crash. Yoder said toxicology testing is pending. 

 

 

(Rantoul-cf)-- Rantoul Police were advised of a possible theft report from a resident at the Villas of Holly Brook in early February of this year. Information obtained at the time indicated that a check written to the business as a deposit for a room at the assisted living facility had been cashed by an employee instead of deposited into a business account to secure the room. As the investigation continued additional checks written to the business by residents had been altered and either cashed, or deposited into the employees personal account rather than the business account. Villas of Holly Book executives began an internal audit into the issue and were able to identify over $20,000 dollars in missing funds spanning between october of 2019 and January of 2020. Former Villas of Holly Brook Executive Director Kimblerly Cross of Rantoul was arrested today and charged with Financial Exploitation of an Elderly Person. Cross is being held at the Champaign County Correctional Center. 

 

(Danville-jm) -- Those wanting to get their CDL can do so at Danville Area Community College. The community college is offering a training program. The 240 hour program includes 6 weeks in the classroom, 1 week online and 5 weeks in a truck. For more information, call 217-443-8565.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- How did a recent resurvey of some states on 2019 corn production impact the latest USDA domestic balance sheet? Rod Bain reports…

 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- A new bill just signed into law will help Illinois schools during the COVID-19 pandemic. Senate Bill 1569 will allow school districts to use remote learning during a declared public health emergency. Remote learning days will be allowed and up to five remote learning planning days will be considered attendance days. Student assessment requirements can also be waived if the Illinois State Board of Education has received a waiver from the U.S. Department of Education.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Adult Redeploy Illinois Program is celebrating 10 years of keeping people out of prison and getting them the help they need. The program redirects low level offenders into drug or mental health treatment, instead of locking them up. Director Mary Ann Dyar…

 

 

Adult Redeploy Illinois Program Director Mary Ann Dyar. Since the program began a decade ago, 65 hundred people have been diverted from prison to community based treatment. The option is currently available in 44 Illinois counties.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Active and recovered cases rose Thursday. 219 have recovered in McLean County with 13 in isolation. 36 have been released from isolation and 8 cases are active in Vermilion County. 116 have recovered with 21 active cases in Iroquois County. 918 have recovered with 254 active in Kankakee County. 680 have recovered with 69 active in Champaign County. 35 have been released from isolation in Livingston County. 21 have been released from isolation with one active case in Ford County.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul filed a lawsuit against one of the largest plasma collection companies in the world. The lawsuit alleges the company's policies discriminate against people with disabilities. CSL Plasma has 14 locations in Illinois, including Champaign.

 

 

(Fairbury-jm) -- OSF is offering sports physicals in Fairbury this July. Physicals will be offered at their facility in Fairbury July 7th and 13th from 4-5:30 pm by appointment only. To make an appointment call 815-692-2308.

 


(Buckley-cf)-- The Buckley Fun days will have a different spin on this year as we continue to live in a world with COVID-19. In place of the Buckley Fun Days, there will be a game card that has different games on it such as Scrabble, ISPY, and an alphabet challenge.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- Current and former University of Illinois students and others in the community signed a letter to university administration. It outlines some of their concerns, including the over policing for black students and other racially motivated incidents that happened in the area during protests after the death of George Floyd. A written letter to the U of I president, chancellor, and other top school leaders demands the university to cancel all contracts with Champaign, Urbana, campus police, and the Champaign County Sheriff's Office. That means getting rid of police at sporting events, concerts, ceremonies, or other large-scale events hosted by U of I or at university facilities, and instead, create a police accountability commission of students, workers, and faculty. Those who signed the letter want the money to be invested in practices that can solve campus and community problems without the threat of violence. Other demands in the letter include the university's commitment to black life by hiring more black, indigenous, queer, and transgender counselors, recruiting 1,000 black students per year, and investing in scholarships for black students.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- An Indianapolis man has been convicted of sexually abusing a girl in Rantoul last year. A Champaign County jury found 57 year old Romero Leslie guilty of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. He will be sentenced August 14th.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois State Police will be conducting Occupant Restraint Enforcement Patrols in the area. WPXN’s Jason Madden has the details…

 

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Nearly 8,000 Farm Credit Illinois members will be receiving their share of $28 million in cash patronage distributions. The group says it’s their 2nd consecutive payment to members.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Corn use for ethanol production is beginning to go up in what could be an 18-month gradual increase. Gary Crawford has the details…

 

 

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Governor J-B Pritzker is announcing 900 million dollars in grants for communities and businesses impacted by the Coronavirus

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker scored a win in federal court after a panel of judges ruled his 10-person cap on religious gatherings was constitutional.  A panel of Seventh Circuit Appellate Court judges released its opinion in Elim Romanian Pentecostal Church and Logos Baptist Ministries v. Pritzker. The panel affirmed Governor Pritzker’s crowd restriction, which he canceled, does not run afoul of the First Amendment. In the opinion, they say religious institutions holding congregations do not elevate to the level of need as a grocery store or meat market. 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The daily number of new Coronavirus cases in Illinois has been under one thousand for about a week and a half now. The latest daily total is 546 new COVID cases. Governor J-B Pritzker urges everyone to keep protecting themselves and others…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Statewide about three percent of tests run are coming back positive for the virus. Public Health officials are also announcing 87 additional deaths, bringing the total to nearly 65 hundred.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Locally, Champaign County reported 6 new cases and 1 new death, a man in his 40s, bringing their total number of cases to 755 and deaths to 10. Vermilion County is reporting 1 new case bringing their total number to 46. Kankakee County has 2 new cases bringing their total number to 1,232. McLean County has 1 new case bringing their total number to 243. Iroquois County remains at 142. Livingston County remains at 37. Ford County remains at 23.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker is announcing 900 million dollars in grants for communities and businesses impacted by the Coronavirus. Two new assistance programs will help struggling Illinoisans pay their rent or mortgage says the Governor…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Those programs will launch in August. There are also business interruption grants for owners who haven’t been able to open because of the virus or recent property damage, as well as money for minority farmers, mental health services and food banks.

 

(Urbana-jm) -- The University of Illinois is offering a free online course about race, starting Tuesday. The course is called Race and Cultural Diversity in American Life and History. 

 

 

(Paxton-cf)-- The Paxton Chamber of Commerce launched the Eat, Drink, and Shop Local program just over two weeks ago. The program matched their money in the first 24 hours of the program, which local businesses donated more. Chamber President Alan Meyer says the overwhelming support boosted the program… 

 

 

Paxton Chamber of Commerce President Alan Meyer. 

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- Carle Hospital has received thousands of face masks and is still in need of more. The masks are all made by about 600 community volunteers who sew the masks for patients and staff at Carle, Christie Clinic, and other facilities. Currently, the hospital has received more than 54,000 cotton masks.

 

 

(Paxton-cf)-- The Grand Old Flag Project has been delayed like numerous other projects by the COVID-19 Pandmeic. The flag pole was supposed to be up in the air on flag day on June 14. Organizer of the Project Denny Kingren gives us an update on the project… 

 

 

Organizer of The Grand Old Flag Project  Denny Kingren

 

 

(Peoria-jm) -- US News and World Report has ranked OSF Healthcare Children’s Hospital of Illinois one of the best Children’s Hospitals for 2020-2021. The hospital’s Nephrology Department was ranked in the top 50 in the country as well.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- As Illinois gets closer to Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan, the state's coronavirus case numbers continue to drop. Experts say Illinois is doing well right now because citizens around the state are generally following the state and federal guidelines. They also say the phased approach is greatly helping Illinois keep its COVID-19 numbers low

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Active and recovered cases rose locally Wednesday. In Champaign County, 680 have recovered while 65 remain active with 9 hospitalized. In Vermilion County, 36 have been released from isolation with 8 in isolation. In Iroquois County, 116 have recovered with 19 isolated and 2 hospitalized. In Kankakee County, 907 have recovered, 264 remain active with 8 hospitalized. In Livingston County, 35 have been released from isolation. In McLean County, 218 have recovered with 12 remaining in isolation. In Ford County, 21 have been released from isolation with 1 remaining in isolation.


 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker has signed a new law expanding the state’s vote by mail program. All recent Illinois voters will receive an application to vote by mail in the upcoming election. It’s in response to the pandemic and was sponsored by Senator Julie Morrison of Deerfield…

 

State Senator Julie Morrison of Deerfield. The law also permits curbside voting and expands hours of operations for early voting locations. Voters submitting their application for a mail in ballot by October 1st will receive it by October 6th.

 

 

(Bloomington-jm) -- A roadside scam is affecting drivers in the Bloomington-Normal area, police said.  According to law enforcement, victims are approached and given a scam story by someone who poses as a driver with a stranded family. The person says his vehicle is broken down or out of gas.  The scammer tries to sell the victim gold jewelry or other items. Police said the items are not real gold or diamonds. Bloomington police said they heard of at least three reported incidents.

 

 

(Watseka-jm) -- Iroquois Memorial Hospital in Watseka will be hosting a Know Your Numbers Lab Fair. The lab fair will run through Saturday June 20th at the hospital in Watseka from 7-10 am. Iroquois Memorial Hospital Outreach Director MaryKay Lavicka talks about some of the tests they will perform at the lab fair…

 

 

Iroquois Memorial Hospital Outreach Director MaryKay Lavicka.

 

 

(Normal-jm) -- Campus offices at Illinois State University are back open to the public. Offices reopened with limited staffing to help campus visitors. This is part of Illinois State University's Redbird Return Plan, a phased approach to bringing staff and faculty back to campus ahead of the fall semester. Face coverings are required for employees and visitors in common indoor areas.

 

 

(Paxton-cf)-- The fire that caused heavy damage to the Paxton City Shed behind the Police Building on the City’s north side will not be able to be salvaged. Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold was with the insurance adjuster to determine what was lost due to the fire… 

 

 

There is some equipment in the shed that is able to be salvaged, says Ingold… 

 

 

Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold. 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Gibson City police have released their recent activity report. On June 10th, a juvenile was cited for a graduated drivers license offense. On June 11th Dustin Swallow, 24, of Gibson City was cited for driving while on an electronic communication device. On June 14th, David Renfroe, 49, of Gibson City was arrested for retail theft.

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You can expect to pay more at the pump in July

(Undated-jm) -- You can expect to pay more at the pump in July. As part of Governor J-B Pritzker’s $45 billion capital plan approved by lawmakers last year, the state’s gas tax doubled to 38 cents per gallon. Also included in that was a yearly automatic increase every July 1st by the rate of inflation. That means come July 1st, the gas tax will be 38.7 cents per gallon. Analysts say that if prices go up at the same rate they did this year, by 2025, the tax will be 42.4 cents per gallon.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Vote by mail applications will now be provided to all recent voters in Illinois. Governor J-B Pritzker signed the new legislation on Tuesday to expand the vote by mail program. The bills, Senate Bill 1863 and House Bill 2238, also expand early voting hours at permanent polling places, improve the signature verification process, and make election day a state holiday.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is offering some tips for guarding against the West Nile Virus this summer. It’s that time of year again, mosquitos are out and are potential carriers of West Nile. State Public Health Director Doctor Ngozi Ezike says preventing infection begins around your home…

 

 

Illinois Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike. Mosquitos are most active at dusk and dawn so if you’re out, Ezike recommends using an insect repellant with either deet, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR 35 35.


 

(Undated-jm) -- Local coronavirus cases rose Tuesday. Iroquois County reported 3 new cases bringing their total number to 142. Champaign County reported 12 new cases bringing their total number to 749. Kankakee County reported 2 new cases bringing their total number to 1,230.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health along with area health departments are reporting cases in local communities. In Ford County, 8 cases are in Paxton. In Champaign County, 181 are in Rantoul, 6 in Ludlow, 2 in Thomasboro, 5 in St. Joseph, 19 in Mahomet and 1 each in Fisher, Gifford and Penfield. In Iroquois County, 48 are in Clifton, 14 in Onarga, 13 in Watseka, 12 in Chebanse, 10 in Ashkum, 7 in Crescent City and 6 each in Gilman, Danforth and Beaverville. In Livingston County, 18 are in Pontiac and 6 are in Fairbury.

 

 

(Champaign-cf)-- Planting Progress in Champaign county is almost complete for most farmers. There may be a few replants from heavy rains in late May and Early June. Champaign County Farm Bureau Manager Brad Uken has the details… 

 

 

 Champaign County Farm Bureau Manager Brad Uken

 

(Onarga-jm) -- The Onarga Pool will not open this summer. The village board made that decision earlier this month. Village leaders say input from health department officials along with the possible financial feasibility of opening the pool later in the summer led to the decision.

 

(Paxton-jm) -- No changes will be coming to Paxton’s chicken ordinance. Mayor Bill Ingold says there was not enough support to make the changes...

 

 

Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold.

 

 

(Ford County-jm) -- Bids for a copier contract with Ford County are due soon. The Ford County IT Committee is accepting sealed bids for the contract until June 19th. The contract would cover all the copiers at the courthouse and other county owned facilities. If the committee recommends one of the bids, the county board could approve it at their July 13th meeting.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Corn emergence is way ahead of last year. Stephanie Ho reports…

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois’ Democratic governor is being sued by the state’s Republican Party, which is seeking exemption from the 10-person limit on public gatherings issued on May 29. The GOP says in the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago that Governor J.B. Pritzker’s limit on in-person gatherings to battle the coronavirus curtails people’s First Amendment rights. The GOP wants the court to exempt political parties from the cap on gatherings and seeks permission to hold meetings without size restrictions during the time leading up to the November election.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) --  Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul announced on Tuesday he's tested positive for COVID-19. He says it started with minor symptoms over the weekend. After using telehealth services, he was tested on Monday and received the positive test results on Tuesday.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The state’s latest “Life or Death” campaign focuses on crash victims and their families. The campaign, from the Illinois Department of Transportation, aims to put human faces to the sobering statistics of road fatalities says Spokesperson Guy Tridgell…

 

 

Illinois Department of Transportation Spokesperson Guy Tridgell. The campaign utilizes social media, radio and tv ads and the website: life or death illinois dot com to tell the stories of those who have been lost. Last year more than one thousand people died on Illinois roadways.



 

(Vermilion County-jm) -- Vermilion County reported their 2nd COVID-19 death Tuesday. The Vermilion County Health Department says the person was a man in his 70s.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Active and recovered cases rose Tuesday. In McLean County 216 have recovered with 13 in isolation. In Vermilion County, 36 have been released from isolation while 7 remain in isolation. In Iroquois County, 112 have recovered, 21 are in isolation with 4 hospitalized. In Ford County, 21 have been released from isolation while 1 remains in isolation. In Champaign County, 676 have recovered, 64 remain active with 10 hospitalized. In Kankakee County, 895 have recovered with 274 active and 7 hospitalized.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- The Champaign County Chamber of Commerce is helping those looking for a job by hosting a webinar series. The series is held every Thursday in June from 8:30-9:30 and is hosted by local experts, says Marketing Director Lindsay Quick…

 

 

Champaign County Chamber of Commerce Marketing Director Lindsay Quick. More details including how to register can be found on the chamber’s website: champaign county dot org.

 

 

(Watseka-jm) -- The Iroquois County Public Health Department is offering assistance to seniors during the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 Emergency Senior Service Program helps seniors get essential items. For more information, call Emily Shay at the Iroquois County Public Health Department at 815-432-2483.

 

 

(Gibson City-cf)-- The City of Gibson City approved another proposal to move forward with the Water Tower Project. Mayor Dan Dickey has the latest… 

 

 

Mayor of Gibson City Dan Dickey. 

 

 

(Ashkum-jm) -- District 21 Illinois State Police in Ashkum are releasing results of recent patrols. During Special Traffic Enforcement Patrols, 65 citations were given out for speeding while none were given out for DUI, seatbelt violations or distracted driving. During Occupant Restraint Enforcement Patrols, 24 citations were issued for seatbelt violations and 1 was issued for child restraint violation.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- The pace of soybean planting is ahead of the average and last year. Stephanie Ho reports…

 

 

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With Coronavirus cases falling in Illinois, Governor J-B Pritzker says the state should be moving to phase four late next week

(Springfield-jm) -- There's a difference of opinion on what the role will be for the Restore Illinois Collaborative Commission, created to help revive Illinois’ economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The state’s leading business group is skeptical the group of lawmakers will meet its first deadline. The commission was created by the state Legislature in a truncated pandemic special session last month. The governor signed the measure Friday. Legislative leaders haven’t announced members yet for the 14 member commission. There’ll be eight Democrats split evenly from the House and Senate and six Republicans, three from each chamber. Reports are due every 30 days through the end of the year with the first report due to the entire General Assembly on July 1, 2020.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker says more money is now available to low income households impacted by the pandemic. The Governor says 275 million dollars in emergency relief is available for things like food, rent, utilities, medicine and more. Additionally, more people will be eligible for assistance…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. To apply for the grant money, visit the website: help illinois families dot com.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- New research from the University of Illinois suggests workplace wellness programs could be essentially worthless. After a two-year study that included more than 4,800 university employees, researchers found that such programs have little impact on employee health, health beliefs and medical utilization.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Winter wheat harvesting is underway as we hear in the weekly crop report. 97 percent of wheat has headed and three percent has been harvested. That compares to 15 percent normally. State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says 96 percent of corn has emerged…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 94 percent of soybeans have been planted and 84 percent emerged. Conditions were drier this past week with average statewide topsoil moisture rated as three percent very short, 20 percent short, 74 percent adequate and three percent surplus.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- 473 new cases of COVID-19 were reported Monday in Illinois bringing the state’s total to 133,016. Locally, McLean County has 241 total cases, Ford County has 23, Livingston County has 37, Vermilion County has 45, Iroquois County has 139, Champaign County has 737 and Kankakee County has 1,228.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- With the Coronavirus pandemic, the Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce and the business community has had to make changes and alter their plans. Executive Director Amanda Vickery talks about how they are helping businesses that are reopening…

 

 

Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Amanda Vickery.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- A Rantoul man faces federal child porn charges. 25 year old William Armstrong was arrested after police and agents with the US Marshals executed a search warrant last week at Armstrongs apartment. They say Armstrong had several files of child porn in dropbox files on his computer and several images on his phone. He remains in the custody of US Marshals.

 

(Watseka-jm) -- Iroquois Memorial Hospital in Watseka will be hosting their Know Your Numbers Lab Fair. Outreach Director MaryKay Lavicka talks about the lab fair…

 

 

Iroquois Memorial Hospital Outreach Director MaryKay Lavicka.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Champaign County Crimestoppers are seeking the public's help in finding a Rantoul man. 27 year old Denzel Travis is wanted on aggravated battery. Travis is described as 5 foot 11 inches tall weighing 160 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. Anyone with information is asked to call Crimestoppers at 373-8447.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Agriculture has extended the deadline farmers can use Dicamba products. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City has the details…

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

 

(Iroquois County-jm) -- Associate Judge Michael Sabol has been appointed the resident Circuit Judge in Iroquois County for the 21st Judicial circuit. Sabol will take over following the retirement of Judge James Kinzer in August.

 

(Undated-jm) -- The economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in some calling for a boost in income taxes to help government fill up their coffers.  Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker soldiered on with his progressive income tax proposal despite the pandemic, hoping it will generate $3.5 billion in tax revenue. Both chambers of the Illinois Legislature passed the Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment No. 1, which will let voters decide in November whether to replace the state’s flat income tax with a graduated income tax. The Illinois Policy Institute criticized the idea because the state had just passed a record-high budget, making no attempt at belt tightening before the pandemic hit. 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- With Coronavirus cases falling in Illinois, Governor J-B Pritzker says the state should be moving to phase four late next week. Fortune Magazine recently ranked Illinois as having the biggest decrease in COVID-19 cases over the past two weeks says Governor Pritzker…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. State Public Health Officials announced 473 new cases and 19 additional deaths Monday, with a daily positivity rate of just two and a half percent.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The COVID-19 pandemic is a natural experiment in spending behavior that businesses and academics are watching closely. Illinois’ restrictions on businesses and services eliminated a lot of options to spend money, turning some people into frugal consumers. The uncertainty also prompted spending changes. Dr. Tim Michaelis, a professor of management at Northern Illinois University, said frugal people tend to be prepared for an economic event like the pandemic.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Winter wheat harvesting is underway as we hear in the weekly crop report. Three percent of winter wheat has been harvested so far says State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 96 percent of corn has emerged and 63 percent of the crop is rated in good to excellent condition. 94 percent of soybeans are rated in good to excellent shape. Average statewide topsoil moisture fell to three percent very short, 20 percent short, 74 percent adequate and three percent surplus.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- As there was a slight increase in the number of new Coronavirus cases Monday, there was a jump in the number of recovered or released from isolation cases. In McLean County, 214 have recovered. In Ford County, 21 have been released from isolation. In Livingston County, 35 have been released from isolation. In Vermilion County 36 have been released from isolation. In Iroquois County, 112 have recovered. In Kankakee County, 834 have recovered. In Champaign County 665 have recovered.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- The Champaign County Chamber of Commerce is helping those in the area who have lost their job due to the Coronavirus. Marketing Director Lindsay Quick says they are hosting a series of webinars to help those looking for a job…

 

 

Champaign County Chamber of Commerce Marketing Director Lindsay Quick. The webinars will take place Thursday mornings 8:30-9:30 am through the end of June. For more information or to register visit the chambers website: champaign county dot org.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- A Champaign County judge will allow a former University of Illinois police officer accused of raping four women to proceed in his case without a lawyer. Jerald Sandage told Judge Roger Webber he understood he had a right to an attorney and that one would be appointed if he couldn’t afford one. Sandage is charged with sexual assault, sexual abuse and intimidation for alleged attacks on four women in incidents that date back to June 2012. 

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Usually Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start to summer and many pools open for the season however, with the Coronavirus many area pools are staying closed for the season. The Hap Parker Aquatic Center is one of them that didn’t open but Director Luke Humphries says they are making plans just in case…

 

 

Rantoul Recreation Department Director Luke Humphries.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Two juveniles are being questioned for their role in a mailbox fire in Rantoul. Police and firefighters were called to the 1100 block of Falcon Drive Sunday afternoon. The juveniles were ages 8 and 12.

 

(Undated-jm) -- The temperatures this past weekend felt more springlike than summer like but could there be a change in the weather pattern? State Climatologist Trent Ford has the answer…

 

 

State Climatologist Trent Ford.

 

 

(Cissna Park-jm) -- A railroad crossing in Cissna Park will be closed next week. Union Pacific will close the tracks on Route 49 starting June 23rd. The closure is expected to last 7 days.

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Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White's Office has launched a new online application for those needing a new driver's license or ID card

(Springfield-jm) --  A new review of U.S. Census data shows most metropolitan areas of the state have lost population over the past ten years. One of the drivers of declining population is declining manufacturing jobs. Rockford shrank 5 percent, Peoria shrank 4.1 percent and Springfield is 2.4 percent smaller since 2010. Decatur led the declines by shrinking more than 7 percent, according to a review by the Rockford Register Star. Illinois is unattractive to business development with high taxes and workers’ comp costs.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White’s Office has launched a new online application for those needing a new driver’s license or ID card. The idea is to save time at the counter when you go in to get your new license by getting everything filled out beforehand says Secretary of State Spokesperson Henry Haupt…

 

Secretary of State Spokesperson Henry Haupt. You will still need to bring any necessary documents when you go in, like if you’re applying for the real ID says Haupt. Visit: cyber drive illinois dot com to access the pre-registration application.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- A new analysis ranked Illinois near the bottom of all states in terms of health improvements during the COVID-19 pandemic. The website WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 11 metrics that reflect the COVID-19 death rate, positive test rates and transmission number, which is an estimate of the average number of people to whom an infected person will transmit the virus. WalletHub's analysis placed Illinois 40th on the list. Death rate and positive testing rate hurt Illinois’ score.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services is launching a new campaign to recruit more foster parents. The campaign is called “Can you Foster my Future” and aims to find parents willing to open their homes says DCFS Spokesperson Deborah Lopez…

 

DCFS Spokesperson Deborah Lopez. More information about becoming a foster parent is available on the DCFS website. Click on “loving homes.” The licensing process can take up to six months and includes a background check, home inspection and training.

 

(Urbana-jm) -- Champaign County Treasurer Marisol Hughes is now the face of more controversy. The union that represents 465 county employees has filed a complaint against her for unfair labor practices. The charge was filed by AFSCME. It lists Hughes and County Board Chairman Giraldo Rosales, who appointed her. The union said they started seeing problems after Hughes was appointed. They requested a labor management meeting to help the treasurer become familiar with the union contract and her obligations under law. AFSCME claims she began telling AFSCME members not to call the union about their concerns.

 

(Undated-jm) -- Several area school boards meet tonight. WPXN’s Jason Madden has the details…

 

 

 

(Rural Gifford-jm) -- Gifford firefighters believe burning trash was the cause of a fire that destroyed a shed near Gifford Sunday. Firefighters from Gifford, Rantoul, Potomac and Paxton were called to the fire 4 and a half miles north of Gifford around 11 am. No injuries were reported.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- What does the latest outlook on Chinese soybean imports indicate in terms of potential U.S. bean export opportunities? Rod Bain reports…

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Many states have faced budget strains for years, which became exacerbated by stay-at-home orders causing economic shutdowns, high unemployment and significant loss of tax revenue. Some states fared worse than others and have looked to the federal government for help. Based on a number of factors, Chicago-based Truth in Accounting projects total state revenue shortfalls for fiscal years 2021 and 2022 to be about $397 billion. In response to the economic shutdown, the Federal Reserve for the first time in history created a $500 billion lending program, the Municipal Liquidity Facility, made available directly to cities and counties meeting population requirements, and all 50 states. One stipulation of the program is that the Federal Reserve Bank of New York charges borrowers a “penalty rate” above the typical market rates. That means borrowers will owe the loan amount, plus interest plus the penalty rate. Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker this week signed a nearly $43 billion budget that relies on borrowing billions from the Fed program with hopes that the state will receive additional federal aid through another stimulus bill that has not been approved by Congress. Illinois announced June 2 it was borrowing an initial $1.2 billion from the MLF.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- This summer’s Illinois and Duquoin State Fairs are cancelled due to COVID-19. State Fair Manager Kevin Gordon made the announcement on social media…

 

 

State Fair Manager Kevin Gordon. Gordon says they are already working on the 2021 Illinois State Fair with some new upgrades to grandstand concert tickets and carnival ride passes. If you’ve already purchased a mega pass, coupon booklet or parking pass, visit: illinois state fair dot info for refund details. The Illinois Department of Agriculture will host a junior livestock show in September for kids.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker has signed workers compensation legislation for front line and essential workers who contract COVID-19. State Representative Dan Brady of Normal was part of the working group that put together the legislation…

 

 

State Representative Dan Brady of Normal. The law took effect immediately.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- The University of Illinois Board of Trustees is facing a $7.9 million lawsuit for allegedly breaching a resignation agreement it signed with former U of I professor Joseph A. Petry. According to Petry's legal counsel, the university signed a resignation agreement with Petry in April 2019 following sexual harassment allegations against him. The agreement stated that in exchange for Petry's resignation, the university's Office of Access and Equity would end its investigation into the allegations. However, days after the agreement was signed, the university allegedly sought to renegotiate it to allow the investigation to continue. Petry's lawyers said U of I continued the investigation after Petry refused to renegotiate. The investigation reportedly continued for nearly one year before the university concluded that the initial allegations were not credible and Petry had not violated the sexual harassment policy.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Those traveling this week through the area will want to be on the lookout. State Police will be conducting special patrols this week. WPXNs Jason Madden has the details…

 

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- CU at Home and Austin’s Place are teaming up to provide year round emergency shelter for men and women starting Monday. Last fall both organizations committed to opening year round starting in November. The group says the Coronavirus pandemic expedited the need to open the shelter four months earlier than planned. 

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- A recent resurvey of soybean production in parts of the country has led to some minor changes within the U.S. supply and demand estimates for this marketing year and next. Rod Bain reports…

 

 

 

 

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Despite calls to reopen, Governor J-B Pritzker says Illinois is not ready

(Springfield-jm) -- The budget spends nearly $43 billion from state funds while only bringing in $36.4 billion from state revenue sources. It relies on borrowing from a federal reserve program and federal aid that Congress hasn’t approved to make up the rest. While aid packages have been approved for direct COVID-19 relief and to help businesses, the federal government hasn’t passed anything to cover lost revenue for states and local governments. A separate measure that lawmakers approved allows the state to borrow up to $5 billion from a new Federal Reserve program. But, even that is seen as a placeholder by a credit-rating agency. 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Despite calls to reopen, Governor J-B Pritzker says Illinois is not ready. Senate Republicans and some other local officials would like to see the state move to phase four now, saying businesses don’t understand why they can’t fully re-open when protests with hundreds and even thousands of people are being held. But Governor Pritzker says the pandemic isn’t anything states were expecting or knew how to deal with at first…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Under the Governor’s Restore Illinois Plan, the earliest the state could move to phase four is June 26th. All four designated regions of Illinois currently meet the metrics for that to happen.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Champaign County is reporting 5 new COVID cases bringing their total number to 708. McLean County is reporting 4 new cases bringing their total number to 236. Kankakee County is reporting 3 new cases and 1 new death bringing their total numbers to 1,223 cases and 61 deaths.

 

(Onarga-jm) -- Onarga’s pool will not open this summer. The village board looked at several options to determine whether or not to open but Village President Shane Cultra says there were several factors in deciding to keep it closed…

 

Onarga Village President Shane Cultra.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Paxton-Buckley-Loda graduate Kirsten Jensen is the recipient of the Illinois Sheriff’s Association scholarship handed out by Ford County Sheriff Mark Doran. Jensen will attend the University of Illinois this fall majoring in English.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- A new list from Business Insider lists the top 30 cities in the United States to live in after the COVID-19 pandemic. Springfield, Illinois topped that list. It wasn't the only Illinois city to rank among the top 30 cities. Bloomington came in fourth. Champaign came in fifth. Peoria was 28th. Danville was ranked as number 30.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- The Orpheum Children’s Museum in Champaign will not reopen. The museum released a statement Thursday saying despite donations and support from organizations, the museum will not be able to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and will not reopen and the building will be up for sale.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois is awarding more than $15 million to libraries in the state including several in the area. Paxton Carnegie Library will receive $5,591 while the Rantoul Public Library will receive $16,176. Other libraries receiving funding include Cissna Park Library $2,282; Moyer District Library in Gibson City $6,752; Gilman-Danforth Library $3,790; Hoopeston Public Library $12,206; Loda Library $1,826; Mahomet Public Library $17,206; Melvin Library $760; Milford Library $3,065; Piper City Library $1,436; Potomac Library $1,738; St. Joseph Public Library $7,395; Onarga Library $2,565; Sheldon Library $2,300 and the Watseka Library $6,148. 

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- USDA is just out with new production and price forecasts for wheat and corn. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

Gibson City will hold townwide garage sales today and tomorrow.

 

The Loda American Legion will be at Paxton IGA for a cookout tomorrow from 10-2 serving pork chop sandwiches.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Insurance provisions of Illinois’ reproductive health care law violates residents’ religious freedoms, a coalition of Baptist churches and two state businesses allege in a circuit court lawsuit filed this week. The Reproductive Health Act, signed into law by Governor J-B Pritzker almost one year ago, overhauled Illinois’ health care law. It enshrines access to pregnancy care, contraception, birth control, abortion procedures and other related benefits as a fundamental right, meaning no level of government in the state can infringe upon a person’s access to those services. In its lawsuit, the Thomas More Society, a Chicago law firm that focuses on defending religious rights, took issue with the statute’s insurance mandate — that private insurance companies regulated by Illinois must cover abortions if they also cover pregnancy-related benefits.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Labor is warning about heat hazards for those working outside this summer. The hot weather can be especially dangerous if you’re body isn’t acclimated to the heat yet. Department of Labor Spokesperson Mike Matulis says employers should make sure their workers are being safe…

 

 

Illinois Department of Labor Spokesperson Mike Matulis. Matulis says it’s important for employers to teach workers about the signs of heat stroke, which include confusion, temperature of 103 or higher, dizziness, headache and a fast pulse. If you suspect heat stroke, call 9-1-1, move the person to a shady area and try to lower their temperature with cool cloths.


 

(Undated-jm) -- Local active and recovered cases rose Thursday. 20 people have been released from isolation with 1 person in isolation in Ford County. In Iroquois County, 110 have recovered, 19 are in isolation with 2 hospitalized. In Vermilion County, 36 have been released from isolation, 3 are in isolation and 3 hospitalized. Livingston County, 34 released with 1 active. Kankakee County 728 released, 434 active with 7 hospitalized. McLean County, 205 have recovered and 18 in isolation. In Champaign County, 644 have recovered, 55 active with 8 hospitalized.

 

 

(Gilman-jm) -- Some roads in Gilman will receive some work this summer. Gilman Mayor Rick Theesfield says they approved a contract with Iroquois Paving at their June meeting…

 

 

Gilman Mayor Rick Theesfield.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- Several organizations, including the Graduate Employees Organization, feel that holding in-person classes too soon at the University of Illinois will put lives at risk. The University of Illinois is still deciding if classes should resume in-person or online, but the Graduate Employees' Organization is urging the university to put people first. The Campus Faculty Association also disagrees with reopening the campus and is helping with that alternative budget. The U of I is planning on sharing its plans by the end of the month and have a lot to think about when it comes to that decision.

 

 

(Ashkum-jm) -- District 21 Illinois State Police will conduct Special Traffic Enforcement Patrols tonight and tomorrow in Ford, Iroquois and Kankakee Counties. Troopers will focus on the fatal four: DUI, safety belt use, speeding and distracted driving.

 

 

(Bondville-jm) -- The University of Illinois and Champaign County Sheriff’s police are investigating the theft of weather equipment stolen from a station near Bondville. The theft was reported last week after the station stopped reporting weather data. The equipment was worth about $5,000.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City provides an update on the latest with reopening and the state’s testing efforts…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Paxton IGA is adjusting their curbside pickup hours. The new hours will be from 11-3. The store says as the demand drops so will the range of hours.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- After months of harvest delays, USDA now officially has the final production estimates for last year's corn and soybean crops. Rod Bain reports…

 

 

A blood drive will be held at OSF St. James-John Albrect Medical Center in Pontiac today from 10-4. You must schedule an appointment by calling 815-842-4935.

 

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The first signs of West Nile Virus are popping up in Illinois

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services says more foster homes are needed across Illinois. Foster homes are especially groups such as adolescents, children with special medical needs, sibling groups, african-american and latino youth, teenage mothers and their babies and LGBT youth. As of June, there are more than 18,000 youth living in foster care in Illinois: 6,200 are living with foster families, 10,500 with relatives and 1,300 in group homes and institutions.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- As if you didn’t have enough to worry about, the first signs of West Nile Virus are popping up in Illinois. So far, two batches of mosquitoes in Cook County have tested positive for the virus. State Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike says it’s that time of year…

 

Illinois Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike. Four out of five people infected with West Nile won’t have any symptoms, but the virus can be serious for those over 60. Symptoms of West Nile include fever, nausea, headache and muscle aches.Ezike says last year was quiet in Illinois, with only 28 confirmed cases, including one death.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Champaign County reported 2 new cases of Coronavirus Wednesday bringing their total number to 703. Kankakee County reported 3 new cases bringing their total number to 1,220. Ford, Iroquois, Vermilion, Livingston and McLean Counties all reported no new cases. Champaign and Kankakee Counties both reported 1 additional death each bringing their total number of deaths to 9 and 60 respectively.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- An area man who has been the state VFW commander over the past year will soon leave that roll. The state VFW convention was supposed to take place next week, however, the Coronavirus pandemic has put the convention on hold. Brad Goold, State VFW Commander from Rantoul, talks about the process of selecting a new state commander…

 

Illinois State VFW Commander Brad Goold of Rantoul.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- The Executive Committee at the University of Illinois approved a plan allowing high school students to apply for undergraduate programs at two of their schools without taking a standardized test. Officials said this would apply for students applying for fall 2021 at the University of Illinois at Chicago and UIS. The universities requested the change because “large numbers of high school students have not been able to take standardized tests due to school closures and state-level restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.” They said SAT and ACT test administrations had been canceled since March. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is in the process of discussing this matter with their Senate.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- USDA analysts are about to issue new supply and demand projections for the unsettled livestock and meat sector. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- The Gibson City city council will meet tonight at 7 where they are expected to approve a pair of agreements for the water tower project and approve sidewalk cafe permits for restaurants.

 

(Paxton-jm) -- A Paxton bank has made a donation to a local food pantry. Farmers Merchants Bank of Illinois donated $10,000 to the Hands of Christ Food Pantry. The donation was sourced through a COVID-19 Relief Program Grant.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- A delay in processing property taxes at the Champaign County Treasurer’s office is leading to some issues. The first installment of property taxes were due June 1st. The treasurer’s office is running behind on processing some payments, causing the system to assess late penalties on some who may have paid on time. The treasurer’s office says those who were assessed late fees even though they paid on time will see the late fee removed from their account.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Corrections was sanctioned after it failed to abide by the terms of a settlement on behalf of deaf and hard of hearing prisoners. It was part of a class-action lawsuit brought by those prisoners who say IDOC didn't provide the assistance they needed to effectively communicate. 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker is announcing a 270 million dollar grant program for child care providers in Illinois. The state previously awarded one time stipends to providers caring for the children of front line workers, but Governor Pritzker says more must be done. He says this new program makes Illinois the first state in the country to help restore child care through the pandemic…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. The survey is available on the Illinois Network of Child Care Resource and Referral agencies’ website, which will administer the program.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Ford County is reporting 20 COVID-19 patients have been released from isolation with 1 in isolation. In Vermilion County, 34 have been released from isolation, 8 are active with 5 in isolation and 3 hospitalized. In Champaign County, 637 have recovered, 37 are active with 11 hospitalized. In Iroquois County, 108 have recovered, 21 are in isolation and 2 are hospitalized. In McLean County, 205 have recovered, and 14 are in isolation. In Livingston County, 34 have been released from isolation and 1 is active. In Kankakee County, 661 have recovered, 499 are active with 7 hospitalized.

 

 

(Watseka-jm) -- Iroquois Memorial Hospital in Watseka will be hosting a Know Your Numbers Lab Fair. The lab fair will take place June 15-20th at the hospital in Watseka from 7-10 am. Iroquois Memorial Hospital Outreach Director MaryKay Lavicka talks about some of the tests they will perform at the lab fair…

 

 

Iroquois Memorial Hospital Outreach Director MaryKay Lavicka.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- A Rantoul man faces multiple charges for an incident over the weekend. 24 year old Troy Stewart was charged with mob action, criminal damage to property and aggravated domestic battery. Rantoul police say Stewart allegedly broke out several windows at an apartment building and a car on Harmon Drive. Bond was set at $10,000.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- The nomination process soon begins for Farm Service Agency County Committee seats up for election later this year. Rod Bain reports…

 

 

 

(Fisher-jm) -- The Fisher Village Board could make a decision about the village’s 4th of July at tonight’s village board meeting scheduled for 6pm. Village board members will also discuss reopening city parks, consider approving $35,000 for oil and chip seal coating and discuss potential storm water drainage projects.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- The University of Illinois will make a decision on what the fall semester will look like within the next two weeks. Chancellor Robert Jones said he will make a decision with the provost after reviewing a report from the COVID-19 academic affairs committee. A draft of the report recommended ending in-person learning at Thanksgiving break. The last eight days of teaching and exams would happen online in an effort to reduce travel back and forth to campus. If the state is in Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan, classes with more than 50 students would be held online for the entire semester.

 

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Illinoisans are hurting financially more so than most of the country during the COVID-19 outbreak

(Springfield-jm) -- A new report shows Illinoisans are hurting financially more so than most of the country during the COVID-19 outbreak. The financial website SmartAsset compared the 50 states across six metrics, including recent measures of unemployment, housing insecurity and food insufficiency. Illinois ranked seventh in the nation for financial pain during the pandemic, according to the report. Illinois’ ranking was negatively affected by unemployment. The unemployment rate in April was 16.4%, 1.7 points higher than the national average and the seventh-highest of all 50 states.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- As new federal dollars are released to help businesses keep paying workers, Illinois’ Congressional delegation says they voted for federal payroll aid to help nonprofits like foster care providers keep people employed, not to supplement the state’s coffers. The federal government approved additional funds for the Payment Protection Program last week. it also relaxed the requirements for organizations hoping to have the loans forgiven.  In a letter to Governor J-B Pritzker, the GOP members of the U.S. House of Representatives said they have heard from providers that state agencies are asking for information on whether the organizations are having payroll loans forgiven and risk a reduction in state funds.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker says he remains hopeful that students can return to school in the fall. It will all be up to the numbers, and the experts says Governor Pritzker…


 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. The Governor says they are also preparing schools for the possibility of more distance learning. The state is reporting 797 new COVID-19 cases and 95 additional deaths. That brings the state's total number of cases to 129,212 and 6,018 deaths.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- As for local cases...Vermilion County is reporting 3 new cases bringing their total number to 48. Kankakee County is reporting 1 new case bringing their total number to 1,217. McLean County is reporting 4 new cases bringing their total number to 232. Champaign County is reporting 10 new cases bringing their total number to 701. Ford, Iroquois and Livingston Counties all reported no new cases Tuesday.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health and local health departments are reporting cases in area communities. 7 cases are reporting in Paxton. 170 in Rantoul, 18 in Mahomet, 5 in St. Joseph, 6 in Ludlow, 1 each in Gifford, Fisher and Penfield, 48 in Clifton, 12 in Chebanse, 13 each in Watseka and Onarga, 7 in Crescent City and 6 each in Danforth and Gilman. 

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Paxton-Buckley-Loda school board meets tonight. WPXN’s Jason Madden has the details…

 

 

 

(Onarga-jm) -- There’s no reports of damage after a tornado touched down west of Onarga yesterday evening around 6:30. Sightings of tornadoes were reported near Gilman and Danforth. 

 

(Gilman-jm) -- A semi struck an IDOT truck near Gilman Tuesday afternoon causing the interstate to be shut down for a portion of time. The IDOT truck was helping direct traffic from a previous incident in the northbound lanes when it was struck. No word on if there were any injuries.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- What news could there be for the corn market in this week's round of new USDA reports and forecasts? Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Strong winds yesterday caused issues across the area. Numerous trees and powerlines came down as the remnants of what is now Tropical Depression Cristobal moved through the area. National Weather Service forecasters say the winds should start to subside today.

(Washington-jm) -- The Internal Revenue Service has issued a reminder that estimated tax payments for tax year 2020 are now due July 15, instead of the previous due dates of April 15 and June 15. The IRS and the Treasury Department are providing special tax filing and payment relief to individuals and businesses amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This applies to federal income tax returns and tax payments, including tax on self-employment income, that would otherwise be due on April 15. This does not apply to state tax payments or deposits, or payments of any other type of federal tax. For more information or to receive tax assistance, visit irs dot gov.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- More than 2,000 at-risk youth in Illinois and more than 3,600 immigrant families will be getting some support. The Illinois Department of Human Services launched two COVID-19 response programs to help those Illinois residents with the Summer Youth Employment Project and the Immigrant Family Support Project.

 

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- As for local active and recovered cases. In Ford County, 20 have been released from isolation and 1 remains in isolation. In Vermilion County, 38 have been released, 6 are in isolation with 3 hospitalized. In Livingston County, 34 have been released with 1 active. In Kankakee County, 647 have recovered, 511 are active with 7 hospitalized. In McLean County, 203 have recovered and 16 in isolation. In Champaign County, 626 have recovered, 67 are active with 11 hospitalized.

 

(Paxton--jc)  -- Paxton Fire Department personnel were called to the Clara Petersen School last night nust after 10. An alarm was activated at the local school.  Local police and firemen were on the scene for about an hour. No details of the alarm activation were provided

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- An additional COVID-19 death was reported in Champaign County Tuesday. That brings their total number to 8. McLean County has 13, Iroquois County has 5, Livingston County has 2, Kankakee County has 59 and Ford and Vermilion Counties each have 1.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- The Champaign County Chamber of Commerce is hosting a webinar series for those looking for a job throughout the month of June. Marketing Director Lindsay Quick talks about how you can register…

 

 

Champaign County Chamber of Commerce Marketing Director Lindsay Quick. Quick says the webinars are open to anyone looking to improve their resumes and cover letters to finding what jobs are available in the area.

 

 

 

(Paxton--jc) -- Paxton police and emergency officials were called to a motorcycle accident in the city of Paxton late Tuesday Night. Officials say the accideent happened along Route 45 in the city around 11pm, no word of  any injuries was provided. Route 45 was closed around the accident area for about oen hour.

 

 

(Roberts-jm) -- The boil order for the village of Roberts could be coming to an end soon. The part to fix at the treatment facility finally arrived. Crews will be flushing hydrants today and taking samples that will be sent to the state EPA. Village officials hope everything will come back ok and they will be able to lift the order.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Parkland College announced measures it will take during the fall semester to ensure health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. Parkland College plans to have online and on-campus classes available, with on-campus classes delivered as hybrid courses. Students with on-campus courses will attend some meetings on campus, as well as complete some coursework online. If a class is listed as one that is offered on campus, there will be on-campus meetings at the time scheduled. Students may be divided into small groups for in-person classes in order to ensure social distancing is practiced. Staggered scheduling for on-campus meetings may be necessary for larger classes. Additionally, in order to minimize the number of in-person classes after Thanksgiving break, many of the college's transfer classes will end on-campus instruction by Nov. 20, with the online component continuing through the end of the semester. Career classes that require in-person labs may continue to meet on campus through the end of the semester. The college said its plan is contingent upon the region entering Phase 4 of Restore Illinois; as the result, it is subject to change.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- USDA's latest trade update shows U.S. agricultural exports for the first seven months of Fiscal Year 2020 running just ahead of the same time frame a year ago. Gary Crawford has the details…

 

 

 

(Pontiac-jm) -- An Illinois county sheriff was a guest of President Donald Trump for a roundtable discussion about policing in America. Livingston County Sheriff Tony Childress said his policing ideology is to be a friend in the community, support the community with programs and to always be there with an open ear.

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Governor J-B Pritzker announced the launch of free online career training to help Illinoisans who have lost their job during the coronavirus pandemic

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity announced the first round of grants awarded through the Downstate Small Business Stabilization Program. The first $1.3 million in grants have been allocated to 65 businesses in 28 downstate and rural communities. The fund was created to support small businesses in downstate and rural areas in Illinois that have been negatively impacted by COVID-19.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Spring in Illinois closed out with a cool, wet May. It started warming up towards the end of last month, but the majority of days were fairly cool says State Climatologist Trent Ford…

 

 

State Climatologist Trent Ford. Statewide average rainfall in May came in at nearly five and a half inches. That’s nearly an inch above normal, making last month the 25th wettest May on record in Illinois.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting 22 cases of Coronavirus in Ford County, 37 in Livingston County, 45 in Vermilion County, 136 in Iroquois County, 228 in McLean County, 1,216 in Kankakee County and 691 in Champaign County.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Corn planting in Illinois is just about finished. 98 percent of corn acres have been planted says Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 88 percent of soybeans have been planted and 67 percent has emerged. The condition of the crop improved to 67 percent in good to excellent shape. 93 percent of winter wheat has headed and average statewide topsoil moisture is rated as one percent very short, 10 percent short, 78 percent adequate and 11 percent surplus.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Rantoul police are investigating a pair of incidents. On June 3rd police were called to the Jimmy Johns on the village’s west side for a report of shots fired. Through their investigation they learned it was a drug deal gone bad. As part of their investigation, yesterday police went and executed a search warrant at a house on Abrams. While executing a search warrant, a dog escaped from a kennel and attacked an officer. The officer discharged a single shot from their weapon killing the dog. The officer was taken to the hospital to be treated for their injuries. Both incidents remain under investigation.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Several area communities meet tonight. WPXN’s Jason Madden has the details…

 

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- The Rantoul City School District is seeking 3 grants to cover the cost of demolishing the former Myna Thompson school and construct a new early childhood center. The three grants total $12 million including a $5 million Build Illinois Fast Track grant.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- There's been a definite recent speedup in Chinese purchases of soybeans, but where does that put this fiscal year's U.S. sales to China, compared to 2019? Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker announced the launch of free online career training to help Illinoisans who have lost their job during the coronavirus pandemic. The state is partnering with Coursera, an online learning platform, to allow people to enroll in free virtual courses that provide training and credentialing. The courses aim to help prepare those unemployed for jobs in information technology and other fields. Illinois is one of the first states in the nation to make free courses available to unemployed residents through the program.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Active and recovered COVID-19 cases rose Monday. In Ford County 20 have been released and 1 remains in isolation. In Livingston County, 34 have been removed and 1 is active. In Vermilion County,  37 have been released, 5 are in isolation and 2 are hospitalized. In Iroquois County, 103 have recovered, 26 are in isolation and 2 hospitalized. In McLean County, 199 have recovered, 14 are in isolation and 2 hospitalized. In Kankakee County,  635 have recovered, 522 are active and 4 are hospitalized. In Champaign County, 620 have recovered, 64 are active and 10 are hospitalized.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Corn planting in Illinois is just about finished. Corn is 98 percent planted and 90 percent has emerged. The crop improved to 65 percent in good to excellent condition this past week. State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener turns to soybeans…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 65 percent of the soybean crop is rated in good to excellent condition. 93 percent of winter wheat has headed and the first cutting alfalfa is now 69 percent complete. Average statewide topsoil moisture is rated as one percent very short, 10 percent short, 78 percent adequate and 11 percent surplus.

 

 

(Ludlow-jm) -- Two people were injured following a wreck near Ludlow Monday. Emergency crews were called to the accident at county road 1900 east 3500 north about a mile east of Ludlow. The Champaign County Sheriff’s office says a car traveling on 1900 east struck a truck and trailer at the intersection causing the truck to rollover. 

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- One area state representative continues to push for the state to reopen sooner. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett says him and several other GOP lawmakers have been reaching out to the Governor’s office trying to persuade him to change his planned approach to reopening. Representative Bennett says he hopes its not too late for some businesses…

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Champaign County Crimestoppers are seeking the public's help regarding a burglary in Rantoul. On May 31st at 10:53 pm Rantoul police were called to Colonial Liquors for reports of subjects exiting the closed business with items in their hands. When police arrived they found the front window broken. Surveillance video showed multiple subjects entering the building through the broken window and taking items. Anyone with information is asked to call Champaign County Crimestoppers at 217-373-8477.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- USDA has announced changes in risk management revenue-based coverage for dairy producers. Rod Bain has the details…

 

 

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Parts of the state could see rainfall totals of over 2 inches as Tropical Storm Cristobal

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker has signed a bill that reduces barrier for sexual assault survivors in receiving medical forensic exams. The law allows federally qualified health centers to provide medical forensic services to sexual assault survivors over the age of 13 during and 90 days after the governor issues a disaster proclamation. The law goes into effect immediately.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- A group of twenty Illinois House Republicans has formed a new group to promote structural and ethical reforms in Springfield. A statement from the members of the new Illinois Taxpayer Freedom Caucus said the group will attempt to tackle major fiscal issues and structural imbalances that stifle the state’s ability to grow.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Parts of the state could see rainfall totals of over 2 inches as Tropical Storm Cristobal moves through the area in the middle part of the week. State Climatologist Trent Ford has the 8-14 day outlook showing the middle to end of June…

 

 

State Climatologist Trent Ford.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Investigators with the state fire marshal's office were unable to determine a cause for the fire at the City of Paxton storage shed near the police station. The fire started around 11:30 on Sunday, May 31st. Paxton, Buckley and Loda firefighters fought the fire for about 2 hours. They do not believe arson was to blame.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- A Rantoul man who pleaded guilty to having sex with a teen will spend the next 4 years in prison. 32-year-old Jorge Elvir-Reyes received the sentence Friday after pleading guilty in January to one count of aggravated criminal sexual abuse and one count of child pornography. Additional sex charges were dismissed as part of his plea agreement.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Several area communities meet tonight. WPXN’s Jason Madden has the details…

 

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- The Rantoul City School District is planning several projects at their schools this summer. Pleasant Acres Elementary will receive a new door and push button entry system, fiberglass-reinforced plastic in the vestibule, floors waxed, 6 classrooms painted and the fire alarm system upgraded. Eastlawn Elementary will receive fiberglass-reinforced plastic in the hallways, the fire alarm panel changed to an addressable system and new audio/visual devices. Broadmeadow Elementary will see up to 6 classrooms painted. Northview Elementary will see lights updated to LED and 5 classrooms painted. J.W. Eater Jr High will see the main hall doors replaced, a new climbing wall added to the gym and some classrooms painted. In the districts Central Office, a new administrative suite will be created with small offices for staff to accommodate larger enrollment in the junior high.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The search for a new director for the Paxton Park District moves to the next phase. 31 applicants applied for the position, held by Neal McKenry who resigned after 9 years. The board narrowed down the number of candidates to 5 and will interview them.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Here's what the USDA's latest Ag. Trade Update says about Chinese purchases of U.S. agricultural products during the first seven months of the 2020 fiscal year. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- A portion of the tax revenue from legal cannabis sales in Illinois will soon be directed to communities hit hardest by the war on drugs. As part of the law, the state created the Restore, Reinvest, Renew program, aimed at helping these impacted communities to not only recover from the war on drugs, but to move forward. And it set aside 25 percent of state revenues from legal cannabis to pay for it. In May,, the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority announced $31.5 million in grants to organizations that help the most severely impacted communities.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- It’s now up to Governor J.B. Pritzker to approve a measure lawmakers passed last month that differs slightly from an emergency rule he tried to unilaterally issue in April regarding who covers the costs when a worker gets COVID-19. House Bill 2455 passed during last month’s pandemic special session at the statehouse. One aspect of the bill deals with who covers the costs if an essential employee gets COVID-19. The bill also extends unemployment insurance benefits for 20 weeks and brings the state in line for accepting $2.2 billion from the federal government for the unemployment insurance trust fund, but that trust fund could face a deficit of up to $14 billion.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- COVID-19 testing in Illinois surpasses one million. It’s an important milestone says Governor J-B Pritzker, since testing helps track spread of the virus. He says the state has opened up 11 community based testing sites for anyone to be checked free of charge…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. To find one of these testing sites and several others around the state, visit: coronavirus dot illinois dot gov and click on resources.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- The man found guilty of murdering a Mahomet woman back in 2009 will spend the rest of his life in prison. Michael Henslick appeared in a Champaign County courtroom Friday, where Judge Heidi Ladd sentenced Henslick to natural life in prison for the brutal stabbing of Holly Cassano in her Mahomet home. Henslick was found guilty of the murder in February. Police say he stabbed Cassano more than 50 times. Because he was given the natural life sentence there is no chance for parole or credit for time served.

 

 

(Indianola-jm) -- Vermilion County Coroner Jane McFadden has released the identity of the remains found in Indianola back in April. McFadden says the remains are those of 31 year old Anthony Rauch of Paris. Rauch’s death has been ruled a homicide. Anyone with information is asked to call the Vermilion County Sheriff’s office.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- If you haven’t filled out your census you still have a little bit of time. You have until October 31st to complete the census. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City talks about the importance of the census…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City. Ford County has a 66 point 6 percent response rate, Iroquois County has a 61 point 6 percent response rate, Vermilion County has a 61 point 9 percent response rate. 

 

 

(Fisher-jm) -- The Fisher school board is looking at ways to recruit and keep teachers. One proposal is to offer free tuition to students of current and future employees. The district would have to get a waiver from the state.

 

 

(Watseka-jm) -- Iroquois County 2019 payable in 2020 real estate tax statements have been mailed out. The first installment is due July 1st with the second installment due September 1st. You can pay at the treasurer’s office between 8:30-4:30, pay by mail, at the dropbox at the county building or at a local bank. If you have any questions call the Treasurer’s office at 815-432-6985.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- USDA's latest trade outlook not only has forecasts for agricultural exports and imports, but also takes a new look at world economic trends that might affect those exports and imports. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

 

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