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WPXN Blog

The state's Public Health Director is clarifying new CDC guidelines for those exposed to someone with COVID-19

(Springfield-jm) -- The state is launching two new homebuyer assistance programs. The first one is called “Smart Buy” and includes an affordable 30 year fixed rate mortgage and a payment of five thousand dollars for a down payment or closing costs that will be paid back later says the Illinois Housing Development Authority’s Javier Gumucio (ga-moo-cee-oh)...

 

 

Illinois Housing Development Authorities Javier Gumucio. The second program is “opening doors,” and is aimed at low to moderate income homebuyers. It also offers a 30 year mortgage and 6 thousand dollars for a downpayment that is forgiven after five years. Get all the details online at: ihda mortgage dot org.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Another 74,000 Illinoisans filed for unemployment claims last week. That’s 8,500 more than filed the week before and the largest weekly increase of any state. Unemployment filings nationwide neared where they were pre-pandemic restrictions. Illinois continues to lag the rest of the nation.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The state’s Public Health Director is clarifying new CDC guidelines for those exposed to someone with COVID-19. Originally, the CDC said you should quarantine for 14 days after possible exposure. Illinois Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike says that’s been reduced to 10 days if you don’t have any symptoms…

 

 

Illinois Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike. Ezike says you can reduce the isolation time to seven days if you don’t have any symptoms and also test negative for the virus later in that week.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 10,959 new cases and 192 additional deaths bringing the state’s total number of cases to 759,562 and 12,830 deaths. Locally, McLean County reported 136 new cases bringing their total to 8,907. Vermilion County reported 167 new cases and 3 additional deaths bringing their total number of cases to 3,478 and deaths to 43. Champaign County reported 156 new cases bringing their total to 11,260. Livingston County reported 49 new cases and 1 additional death bringing their total number of cases to 2,320 and deaths to 32. Kankakee County reported 111 new cases and 1 additional death bringing their total number of cases to 9,184 and deaths to 124. Iroquois County reported 42 new cases and 3 additional deaths bringing their total number of cases to 1,827 and deaths to 38.

 

 

(Rantoul-cf)-- The annual Rantoul Chamber of Commerce Christmas Parade that takes place the first weekend in December has been canceled due to the on-going coronavirus pandemic. However, there will be a drive through parade says Chamber Director Amanda Vickery… 

 

 

Rantoul Chamber of Commerce Director Amanda Vickery.

 

 

(St. Joseph-jm) -- In updating a story we brought to you yesterday morning, a 17 year old St. Joseph teen is dead following an accident north of St. Joseph Wednesday afternoon. Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup says Nadirah Edwards died at Carle Foundation Hospital Thursday from traumatic injuries. Police say Edwards collided with a garbage truck on 2200 East near 1850 North.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- A former Boy Scout troop leader was sentenced Thursday to six and a half years in federal prison on child pornography charges. 80 year old Milton Forsberg was also ordered to pay $10,200 for court costs and his contributions to a fund supporting victims of child exploitation. Forsberg was arrested in October 2019. In August, he pleaded guilty to using a computer to get sexually explicit pictures of minors and to get child pornography.

 

 

(Fisher-cf)-- During the drive-thru Santa visit in Fisher on Saturday, you can also bring non-perishable items to donate to the Fisher Food Bank. Spokesperson Kristin Darling has the details… 

 

 

Fisher Parade Spokesperson Krisitn Darling.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Champaign County home sales rose almost 15 percent in October. According to the Champaign County Association of Realtors sales rose 14.77 percent with 272 homes sold compared to 237 in October 2019. The mean price also rose 5.9 percent in October 2019 from $159,000 in 2019 to $167,250 in October 2020.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- More people have signed up for the second round of USDA's Coronavirus Food Assistance Program than signed up for the first round. Stephanie Ho reports…

 

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- What are the thoughts of some analysts regarding recent commodity price increases and if this will be a continuing trend in the short and long term? Rod Bain reports…

 

 

The Thawville American Legion will host a drive thru fish fry tonight from 4:30-7:30 pm. Cost is $10 for adults, children under 12 are $4.

 

The Paxton Emergency Response Service is hosting a drive thru Cookies with Santa on Saturday from 4 to 5:30 at their building at 134 W. State Street. 

 

The Mahomet Lutheran Church will hold their live drive thru nativity on Sunday from 5 to 7 pm.

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois State Police say they’ve been able to cut the state’s DNA backlog by nearly half. Since March of 2019, ISP has seen a 48 percent drop in the number of DNA samples that are waiting to be processed. Director Brendan Kelly says this is due to improved technologies, the use of robotics and an aggressive hiring effort…

 

 

Illinois State Police Director Brendan Kelly. Kelly says they are also working to improve communication with law enforcement and state’s attorneys to see which cases need immediate attention and which no longer need to be processed.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois’ student participation in online math coursework has decreased by 12 percent this year, according to TrackTheRecovery.org. The national average is a 10.1 percent decrease. While the national average for student progress in online math coursework is up 0.8 percent, Illinois’ metric dropped by 7.1 percent compared to January 2020.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 10,959 new cases and 192 additional deaths bringing the state’s total number of cases to 759,562 and 12,830 deaths. As for local active and recovered cases, McLean County reported 7,551 have recovered, 1281 are in isolation and 17 are hospitalized. Vermilion County reported 3,158 have been released from isolation, 243 are in isolation and 34 are hospitalized. Champaign County reported 10,271 have recovered, 929 are in isolation and 18 are hospitalized. Livingston County reported 2,177 have been removed from isolation and 171 cases are active. Kankakee County reported 4,181 have recovered, 4879 cases are active and 60 are hospitalized. Iroquois County reported 1,229 have been released from isolation, 540 are in isolation and 20 are hospitalized.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Gibson City will ring in the Christmas holiday season a little differently this year. Spokesperson Susie Tongate talks about some of the changes…

 

 

Gibson City Christmas Spokesperson Susie Tongate.

 

 

(Danville-jm) -- A former Vermilion County high school teacher has been sentenced to four years of Specialized Sex Offender Probation for sexually abusing a student. Chelsea Robinson was arrested in 2018 after police learned from a then 17-year-old Danville High School student that they were in a sexual relationship. Robinson pleaded guilty in July.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- An award winning author will speak to students at J.W. Eater Junior High today. Jason Reynolds sent nearly 700 copies of his book “Look Both Ways”. Reynolds is a New York Times Number 1 best selling author.

 

 

(Rantoul-cf)-- Around this time every year, the Rantoul Recreation Department hosts a senior lunch day, where all the seniors in the area can go eat a turkey lunch, listen to live music, and socialize. Director of the senior lunch program Andy Graham has the details… 

 

 

Director of the Senior Lunch Program Andy Graham.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The City of Paxton will have two committee meetings prior to the council meeting on December 8th. The public safety committee will meet at 6 to discuss changes to the animals at large ordinance. Then at 6:30 the license, permit and zoning committee will meet to continue reviewing zoning ordinances and map. The regular council meeting will get underway at 7 pm. All three meetings will take place in the city council chamber.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Will the expansion in the nation's broiler production continue next year? If so, at what rate? Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

Fisher is hosting a drive thru Santa event on Saturday from 10 to noon at the Fisher Community Center.

 

Santa will be coming to the village of Sheldon on Sunday from 2 to 4 pm.

 

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The University of Illinois' saliva testing ability could be coming out to the community sooner rather than later

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois’ economy continues to stagnate. The University of Illinois Flash Index for years showed economic expansion. But since April, the index contracted. After a few months of slight growth, the index stalled from October to November.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois State Police is reporting a 48 percent reduction in the backlog of DNA testing. On March 1, 2019 the state reported a backlog of 9,289 pending assignments. As of November 30th, that number was down to 4,857. 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- A grim new daily record set Wednesday, with 238 people in Illinois lost to the Coronavirus. The latest single day death toll surpasses the high of 191 set back in mid-May. Some of the increase may be attributed to a delay in reporting data over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, but Governor J-B Pritzker says regardless, the numbers are heartbreaking…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. More than 12 thousand 600 people have now died from COVID in Illinois. The state also reported 9,757 new cases bringing the state’s total to 748,603. Locally, McLean County reported 90 new cases and 2 additional deaths bringing the state’s total number of cases to 8,771 and deaths to 58. Champaign County reported 151 new cases bringing their total to 11,104. Livingston County reported 38 new cases and 7 additional deaths bringing their total number of cases to 2,331 and deaths to 31. Ford County reported 56 new cases and 3 additional deaths bringing their total number of cases to 829 and deaths to 22. Kankakee County reported 161 new cases and 3 additional deaths bringing their total number of cases to 9,073 and deaths to 123. Vermilion County reported 74 new cases bringing their total to 3,311. Iroquois County reported 58 new cases and 4 additional deaths bringing their total number of cases to 1,785 and deaths to 31.

 

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The impact of the Coronavirus pandemic may have some positives. Nick Reutter, President of the Farmers Merchants Bank of Illinois Paxton  says interest rates should remain low…

 

 

Farmers Merchants Bank of Illinois Paxton  President Nick Reutter.

 

 

(Watseka-jm) -- Several county officials were sworn in this week in Iroquois County. Among those being sworn in for new 4 year terms include State’s Attorney Jim Devine, Circuit Clerk Lisa Hines and Coroner Bill Cheatum. County Clerk Briann Suver was sworn in for a 2 year term. David Penny and Thomas Lynch will be sworn in as new county board members Monday during the counties organizational meeting.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Those visiting downtown Champaign can take advantage of free parking for the rest of the month. The City of Champaign is offering up to two hours of free parking in the Hill Street Parking Deck for the month of December. It’s part of an effort to encourage people to visit downtown Champaign businesses during the holiday season.

 

 

(Mahomet-jm) -- The driver of a semi that struck and killed a bicyclist on Route 47 near Lake of the Woods in Mahomet has been fined $500 for the incident. Roman Sydoruk was driving a semi on Route 47 when he and 46-year-old David Powell crashed. Powell died three days later. Sydoruk was ticketed for improper passing and pleaded guilty to driving on the wrong side of the road.

 

 

(Fisher-cf)-- In addition to the drive-thru Santa in Fisher this year, village residents can decorate their house and enter in to win a prize for the best decorated house. Spokesperson Kristin Darling has the details… 

 

 

Fisher Parade Spokesperson Kristin Darling.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- One company is helping to close the digital divide for students in Rantoul. Mediacom’s ‘Connect2Compete’ is a program that provides students and families with affordable and reliable internet. 32 families in Rantoul currently use it. To qualify, you must have one child in the household that gets free or reduced lunch. There is no contract and a flat-fee cost per month.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- USDA wants livestock producers to know there are crop insurance tools that are relevant to them. Stephanie Ho has the details…

 

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- 2020 farm sector income may be much higher than had been projected a few months ago. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Four people, including a close friend of Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, have entered not guilty pleas in a federal bribery case alleging a scheme with the state’s largest utility. The pleas were entered Wednesday, weeks after they were charged with federal counts of bribery and conspiracy. Among those who entered pleas was Michael McClain, a one-time state lawmaker and close friend of Madigan. The others are former ComEd CEO Anne Pramaggirore, lobbyist and former ComEd executive John Hooker, and consultant Jay Doherty. Madigan hasn't been charged and has denied any wrongdoing.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- An Illinois lawmaker has introduced a bill to get rid of the cash bail system in the state. Illinois, an outlier in how it handles bonding out of jail after an arrest, would see cash bail eliminated under the proposed legislation. In 2017, Illinois became one of just a handful of states that don’t use a bail bondsman in its court system. Instead, Illinois, Kentucky, Oregon, and Wisconsin, all require 10% payment of the total bail in payment before the arrested individual can be released before trial. State Senator Robert Peters announced in November legislation that would eliminate cash bail entirely. The bill would need to be considered in the final days of the current 101st General Assembly or be refiled in January once the new session commences.

 

 

(Gibson City-cf)-- It is tax levy time for all schools in the WPXN listening area. Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley Superintendent Jeremey Darnell has the details on the levy… 

 

 

Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley Superintendent Jeremey Darnell.

 

 

(Rural St. Joseph-jm) -- One person was taken to the hospital following a crash north of St. Joseph Wednesday afternoon. Emergency crews were called to the accident on 2200 E. a couple miles north of St. Joseph around 4pm. Traffic had to be diverted while crews cleaned up the scene.

 

 

(Pesotum-jm) -- District 10 Illinois State Police in Pesotum have released results of recent patrols. During Special Traffic Enforcement Patrols, 3 were cited for DUI, 4 for occupant restraint offenses, 1 for distracted driving and 126 for speeding. During Occupant Restraint Enforcement Patrols, 26 were cited for safety belt citations and 4 for child restraint violations.

 

(Undated-jm) -- People need to be vigilant when it comes to scams. That's the word from Senator Jason Barickkman. After discovering he was the victim of unemployment insurance identity theft, Barickman reminds people to be more aware and report any suspected unemployment fraud to the Department of Employment Security and the Illinois Attorney General.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce says chamber bucks make a great gift this holiday season. Chamber bucks spend like cash and can be used at any chamber business says Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce President Alan Meyer…

 

 

Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce President Alan Meyer.

The chamber still has a deal when you buy 50 dollars in Paxton Chamber bucks, you get 10 dollars free.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- The University of Illinois' saliva testing ability could be coming out to the community sooner rather than later. The Senate Executive Committee met this week to discuss the future of the university's saliva testing. The annex lab is currently going through the authentication steps to extend its Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments certification, comparing its performance to an FDA emergency use authorized test. They will introduce it to the community in phases and have already started with both the Champaign and Urbana Fire Departments.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Overall farm cash receipts for 2020 will be lower than 2019, but farm sector income will be higher than last year. Gary Crawford has the details…

 

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- USDA takes into account the needs of livestock producers when it develops risk management programs. Stephanie Ho reports…

 

 

 

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Online sales soared during Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday.

(Springfield-jm) -- More than one-third of small businesses in Illinois aren’t open, compared to January of this year. That’s according to data from TrackTheRecovery.org, an effort from Harvard and Brown universities and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The report shows in Illinois, as of Nov. 16, the number of small businesses that are open decreased by 35.4% compared to January 2020.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- With Illinois and the rest of the country dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, the post-Thanksgiving shopping season was unlike any other. Online sales soared during Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. A survey by the National Retail Federation shows Black Friday shoppers surpassed the 100 million mark for the first time ever, which is an increase of 8% over last year. The number of online Saturday shoppers grew even more, up 17% compared with last year.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Support for Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan to get another historic term as speaker continues to wane. State Representative Kathleen Willis, who’s in House leadership, said she won’t be supporting Madigan. Whoever becomes speaker needs 60 votes. Excluding Republicans and the 19 Democrats who’ve publicly said they won’t support him, that leaves 55 potential votes.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker is urging those who traveled for Thanksgiving to get tested for COVID-19. Health experts asked everyone to stay home this year, but many still visited friends and relatives over the Thanksgiving weekend. The Governor says those people need to be tested…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Pritzker recommends everyone continue to stay home as much as possible, especially with the expected post Thanksgiving surge in cases looming.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health reported an additional 12,542 new cases and 125 additional deaths Tuesday bringing the state’s total number of cases to 738,846 and deaths to 12,403. Locally, McLean County reported 101 new cases and 6 additional deaths bringing their total number of cases to 8,681 and deaths to 56. Champaign County reported 95 new cases and 2 additional deaths bringing their total number of cases to 10,953 and deaths to 60. Livingston County reported 41 additional cases and 1 additional death bringing their total number of cases to 2,293 and deaths to 24. Ford County reported 18 new cases bringing their total to 773. Iroquois County reported 25 new cases and 2 additional deaths bringing their total number of cases to 1,727 and deaths to 31. Vermilion County reported 134 new cases and 4 additional deaths bringing their total number of cases to 3,237 and deaths to 40.

 

 

(Rantoul-cf)-- The Rantoul Recreation Department will be hosting their holiday senior lunch program every Wednesday starting today. If you are senior, you have to call the rantoul Recreation Department by 5pm on Monday says spokesperson for the program Andy Graham… 

 

 

Director of the senior lunch program Andy Graham . If you live in Rantoul City Limits you can get your meal delivered to you. To register for the meal program call 217-893-5700.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Champaign Center Partnership is announcing their hometown holiday shop and stroll. The event kicked off yesterday and runs through December 20th. Over 15 local businesses are participating. For a list of participating businesses visit champaign center dot com.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Ford County 2020 tax sale has been postponed due to COVID-19 regulations. The new scheduled date is February 17th, 2021 @ 1:00 pm.  Property owners will be able to make payments on delinquent 2019 payable 2020 taxes until February 16th, 2021. If you still need to make a tax payment, please contact the treasurer’s office for current amount due.  All payments must be in the form of cash, certified check or payments will be accepted online at gov tech tax pro dot com through the first week of February.  For more information, please contact the treasurer’s office or visit the Ford County Treasurer’s website at ford county dot illinois dot gov.

 

 

(Danville-jm) -- The Vermilion County Farm Bureau will host a wind and solar farm informational meeting on Monday, December 7th starting at 6pm.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- WPXN news continues to spotlight local and area businesses. Today we hear how one area financial institution is offering additional services. Farmers Merchants Bank of Illinois Bank President Nick Reutter has the details...

 

 

Farmers Merchants Bank of Illinois Bank President Nick Reutter.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- The Village of Rantoul Gas Division will be sending out survey cards over the next month evaluating the public awareness program which aims to share natural gas safety information with residents located on the former Chanute Air Force Base. The survey can either be completed online or by mail.

 

The American Red Cross will hold a blood drive today from 1 until 6 at the Cissna Park American Legion. 

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- What are some indicators that those following the ag economic sector should watch out for regarding next year's economic outlook? Rod Bain reports…

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The chairman of the Illinois Special House Investigating Committee looking into the conduct of House Speaker Michael Madigan is in isolation after testing COVID-19 positive. State Representative Chris Welch Sunday announced he tested positive for the virus and has an elevated temperature. It’s unclear what that means for the December 14th scheduled hearing where Republicans are looking to subpoena Madigan and others in the ComEd bribery scheme.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) --  Illinois House Minority Leader Jim Durkin is demanding the Joint Commission on Ethics and Lobbying Reforms that was stunted by the pandemic earlier this year to restart. The commission was created by law in the aftermath of months of headlines of state lawmakers being charged with federal crimes, raids on offices and other issues in 2019. After several meetings on a variety of ethics issues earlier this year, the commission missed its end-of-March deadline to issue a report.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker announced two new homebuyer assistance programs intended to provide assistance to working class families and underrepresented communities of color across the state. The Illinois Housing Development Authority is offering the SmartBuy and Opening Doors programs. The goal of the programs is to give financial assistance to help address causes of financial barriers in order to create equal opportunities for all Illinoisans. Borrowers must meet the eligibility requirements. Homebuyer education is also required. The programs may be used by buyers in any Illinois county and are not exclusive to first-time buyers. These programs were launched using appropriations allocated to IHDA in Pritzker's Rebuild Illinois capital plan.


 

(Springfield-jm) -- It looks like the first shipment of COVID-19 vaccine to Illinois may be arriving later this month. The numbers change daily says Governor J-B Pritzker, but it’s anticipated the state will initially get about 109 thousand units of the vaccine, which covers about 54 thousand 500 people since everyone will need two doses…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. The Governor says he hopes that shipment as well as subsequent shipments will end up being larger but that Illinois is at the whim of the FDA.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois now has nearly 739 thousand Coronavirus cases and over 12,400 deaths after the state reported 12,542 new cases and 125 additional deaths Tuesday. As for local active and recovered cases, McLean County reported 7,268 have recovered, 1337 are in isolation and 20 are hospitalized. Champaign County reported 10,026 have recovered, 867 are in isolation and 23 are hospitalized. Livingston County reported 2,069 have recovered and 200 cases are active. Iroquois County reported 1,130 have recovered, 547 are in isolation and 19 are hospitalized. Vermilion County reported 245 cases are active.

 

 

(Rantoul-cf)-- Rantoul Township High School could see more money this year off the tax levy, Superintendent Scott Amerio says that they will go just a little bit higher due to assed value… 

 

 

The actual amount has increased 2.9%, and the board will be asking for $5,480,000 says Amerio…

 

 

Rantoul Township High School Superintendent Scott Amerio.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- A Mahomet man faces up to 120 years in prison as he faces several child sex assault charges. Andrew Huddle faces six counts of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child. Huddle is accused of sexually assaulting a child multiple times between 2015 and 2020. He is due back in court December 15th. If convicted he faces a mandatory prison sentence of 12 to 120 years in prison. 

 

 

(Bloomington-jm) -- COVID-19 didn’t break one regional airport’s high-scoring streak during a routine Federal Aviation Administration inspection. For the eighth time in the last 10 years, the Central Illinois Regional Airport earned a perfect score during the FAA’s Part 139 inspection. The inspection was handled by a representative of the FAA Great Lakes Region Airport Certification and Safety Office; the coronavirus pandemic did change how it was done, in that, for the first time, the inspection was done virtually on November 23rd. 

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Four area food pantries are receiving donations from a Paxton and Cissna Park bank as part of Giving Tuesday. The Frederick Community Bank donated $5,000 each to the PBL Area Food Pantry and Hands of Christ Food Pantry in Paxton and $2,500 each to Grant Township Food Cupboard in Hoopeston and Grace Lutheran Church Food Pantry in Rankin.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- The Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce is hosting a raffle. The raffle begins November 2nd and runs through December 11th. Rantoul Chamber Director Amanda Vickery talks about the raffle…

 

 

Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Amanda Vickery. Tickets are available by calling the Rantoul Chamber office at 893-3323.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Santa will be in Paxton Saturday. The Paxton Emergency Response Service will hold a drive thru cookies with santa from 4 to 5:30 in front of their location at 134 W. State Street underneath the downtown water tower.

 

The Rantoul Recreation Department Senior Holiday Lunch today from 11-12.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Governor J-B Pritzker says current COVID-19 restrictions will remain in place for the coming weeks

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker says current COVID-19 restrictions will remain in place for the coming weeks in anticipation of a possible post-Thanksgiving surge. The number of new cases has been declining the last few days, but that trend may not hold. Governor Pritzker says even if an area meets the metrics to ease up on mitigations, that won’t be allowed for a while…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. The Governor says he has spoken to several experts, including Dr Anthony Fauci who agree. He notes another concern is that a surge of new cases will overwhelm already crowded Illinois hospitals.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 6,190 new coronavirus cases and 85 additional deaths Monday bringing the state’s total number of cases to 726,304 and deaths to 12,278. Local health departments were closed for the Thanksgiving holiday Thursday and Friday, so since Wednesday, McLean County reported 694 new cases bringing their total to 8,580. Champaign County reported 507 new cases and 6 additional deaths bringing their total number of cases to 10,858 and deaths to 58. Ford County reported 88 new cases bringing their total to 755. Livingston County reported 124 new cases and 2 additional deaths bringing their total number of cases to 2,252 and deaths to 23. Vermilion County reported 210 new cases bringing their total to 3,103. Iroquois County reported 130 new cases and 2 additional deaths bringing their total number of cases to 1,702 and deaths to 29. Kankakee County reported 501 new cases and 12 new deaths bringing their total number of cases to 8,780 and deaths to 118.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- It’s the last weekly crop report of the season. Temperatures were about 4 degrees above normal, even as some areas saw snow and experienced a hard freeze. State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says rainfall was above normal as well…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 99 percent of winter wheat has emerged and 79 percent is rated in good to excellent condition, an improvement over the previous week.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- A Cabery man has been arrested after police say he sold alcohol to an underage person. Illinois State Police say they conducted alcohol surveillance at 22 businesses in the Kankakee-Bradley-Bourbonnais area. John Mathis of Cabery was one of two people arrested for unlawful delivery of alcohol to a minor.

 

 

(Pesotum-jm) -- District 10 Illinois State Police in Pesotum have released results from several recent patrols. During Distracted Driving patrols in Vermilion County, 9 people were cited for hand held phone or device violations and 6 citations for texting while driving. During Roadside Safety Checks in Champaign County, 4 were arrested and cited for DUI, 4 citations were also issued for other drug or alcohol related offenses, 3 citations for occupant restraint offenses,1 for a registration offense, 11 for driver’s license offenses and 9 for insurance violations. During special traffic enforcement patrols in Vermilion County, 4 people were cited for occupant restraint offenses, 40 for speeding and 1 for distracted driving.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- It may be the 1st of December but now is a good time to start preparing for tax season. Shaffer Tax and Accounting in Paxton Owner Jeff Shaffer has the tax filing deadlines you need to know…

 

 

Shaffer Tax and Accounting Owner Jeff Shaffer.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Phones are ringing and students are singing –

The University of Illinois’ ‘Dial-A-Carol’ is coming back this Christmas. It has been a holiday season tradition for 60 years. With COVID there will be a few changes. Callers will have 9 prerecorded songs to choose from. Dial-A-Carol will return December 11 and remain open 24 hours a day until the 17th. The number is 217-332-1882.

 

 

(Danville-jm) -- Mobile COVID-19 testing will be returning to Vermilion County. The state’s mobile testing team will be at the Vermilion County Public Health Department in Danville on Sunday, December 6th from 8 to 4.

 

 

(Mahomet-cf)-- If you live in Mahomet and are needing assistance paying bills, rent, or any other expense you can request money from the Mahomet Community Fund. Also, if you would like to donate to the fund Spokesperson for the Mahomet Community Fundy Leah Wenger has the details… 

 

 

Spokesperson for the Mahomet Community Fund Leah Wenger. Once again the website is mahometcommunityemergencyfund.com. 

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- A Normal man is facing multiple charges following an incident in Gibson City. Dezel Dotts was arrested on November 23rd. He is charged with home invasion, aggravated battery, aggravated domestic battery, aggravated assault, criminal damage to government supported property, threatening a public official and resisting and trying to disarm a peace officer. He was taken to the Ford County Jail.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The American Soybean Association is seeking candidates for their soy scholarship. The scholarship is available to high school seniors interested in an ag career. The deadline to apply is December 6th. Application details are available online at american soybean dot wufoo dot com slash forms.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Producers interested in applying for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program have a little more than one week left to apply. Stephanie Ho reports…

 

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois now has 726,304 Coronavirus cases and 12,278 Coronavirus related deaths after the state reported 6,190 new cases and 85 additional deaths Monday. As for local active and recovered cases, McLean County reported 7,043 have recovered, 1465 are in isolation and 22 are hospitalized. Champaign County reported 9,876 have recovered, 924 are in isolation and 17 are hospitalized. Livingston County reported 2,024 have been removed from isolation and 205 cases are active. Vermilion County reported 219 cases are active with 29 hospitalized. Iroquois County reported 1,124 have been released from isolation, 529 remain in isolation and 20 are hospitalized. Kankakee County reported 3,979 have recovered, 4683 cases are active and 83 are hospitalized.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- It’s the last weekly crop report of the season. Rainfall over the past week was more than an inch above normal, increasing average statewide topsoil moisture to 3 percent very short, 13 percent short, 69 percent adequate and 15 percent surplus. State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says 99 percent of winter wheat has emerged…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. Pasture conditions also improved and were rated 53 percent in good to excellent condition.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Paxton Buckley Loda Education Foundation is looking to raise $4,000 as part of Giving Tuesday. The foundation will use the money to provide Clara Peterson students free monthly books through the remainder of the school year. Donations can be made through the PBL Education Foundations facebook page. Six local businesses have pledged additional matching $500 donations as the fundraiser reaches certain benchmarks. The fundraiser runs through December 6th.

 

 

(Fisher-jm) -- A Fisher 5th grader has received a national honor. Jordynn Huskisson was named Little Miss of America 2021 over the weekend. Huskisson was the reigning Little Miss of the Midwest in 2020.

 

 

(Fisher-cf)-- The Village of Fisher’s Christmas Parade this year will be different than recent years. There will be a drive through Santa this year where kids can still write letters to Santa, and deliver them to him… 

 

 

Fisher Parade Spokesperson Kristin Darling. The Drive-Thru Santa will take place at the Fisher Community Building on Saturday from 10 to Noon.

 

 

(Vermilion County-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Natural Resources announced it’s hosting mentored archery deer hunting for adults and youths at the Kickapoo State Park Recreational Area near Danville. It will run from December 13 through January 3, 2021. Applications are due by December 4th.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois Department of Agriculture will open the second year of the Fall Covers for Spring Savings Program December 15th with a few new requirements. This year applicants will be required to certify their cover crops approved through their local FSA office before applying. Applicants will also need their current FSA-578 and federal crop insurance policy number(s) for the 2021 application process. The program is applicable for acreage in Illinois planted to cover crops in the fall of 2020 that will be planted to an insurable crop in 2021. Eligible applicants receive a $5 per acre premium discount on the following year’s crop insurance invoice for every acre of cover crop enrolled and verified in the program.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The WPXN news Spotlight on area businesses features Shields Auto Mart of Paxton. Shields AutoMart in Paxton. General Manager Pete Klein talks about their exclusive lifetime powertrain warranty…

 

 

Shields AutoMart in Paxton General Manager Pete Klein.

 

 

(St. Joseph-jm) -- The St. Joseph-Swearinger Memorial Library will once again be holding their book sale. The book sale will take place December 7th through January 28th with the cost being by donation. Hours are Monday and Wednesday 1-8 pm, Tuesday and Thursday 9 to 7 and Saturday 9 to 3.

 

 

(Ashkum-jm) -- District 21 Illinois State Police have released results from two enforcement patrols conducted over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. During Nighttime Enforcement Patrols, troopers issued 1 citation of an occupant restraint violation, 7 for registration offenses, 3 for drivers license offenses and 2 for insurance offenses. During Special Traffic Patrols, troopers issued 1 citation for distracted driving, 2 for DUI, 20 for occupant restraint violations and 192 for speeding.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Increases in prices received for commodities in the livestock index led to a slight uptick in USDA's Agricultural Prices report covering October. Rod Bain reports…

 

 

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Several lawmakers are calling on Governor J-B Pritzker to call the General Assembly back to Springfield

(Springfield-jm) -- A new report puts the cost and condition of Illinois’ state-run roads near the worst in the country. The 25th Annual Highway Report, compiled by The Reason Foundation, looks at state highways in 13 different categories, including pavement condition, traffic congestion, structurally deficient bridges, traffic fatalities, and spending per mile. The organization placed Illinois at 37th overall, behind all neighboring states, including second-ranked Missouri. Illinois ranks 32nd in structurally deficient bridges, 32nd in urban interstate pavement condition, and 42nd in capital and bridge costs per mile. Its worst category performance was traffic congestion, ranking 49th.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The coronavirus has extinguished some traditional holiday cheer at the Illinois Capitol in Springfield. There will be no Christmas tree nor any holiday displays inside or outside the building. Lights on the Capitol dome won’t be used for the second consecutive year. Engineers have recommended that an observation deck, which is used to anchor the lights, be fortified. The giant artificial tree in the rotunda will also not be put up this year.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- If you think you were exposed to COVID-19 over the Thanksgiving weekend, the Illinois Department of Public Health recommends waiting a week before getting tested. Got together with people outside your home over the holiday and fear you may have been infected? It won’t help to get tested right away says State Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike…

 

 

State Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike. Ezike says you should go ahead and get tested if you start to show symptoms earlier.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois now has over 720 thousand Coronavirus cases and over 12 thousand Coronavirus related deaths since the pandemic began. We will bring you the latest numbers on our news at 4 and 5.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce says they are seeing an influx of out of town shoppers. President Alan Meyer says the many unique businesses in town bring people from all over…

 

 

Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce President Alan Meyer.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Paxton welcomed in the Christmas season Friday night with the lighting of the town’s Christmas tree at the intersection of Market and State. The blue spruce was donated by Mike and Maria Light. Santa and Frosty the Snowman made an appearance as well.

 

 

(Ford County-jm) -- Santa made an appearance around Ford County Saturday. Santa started the day in Paxton and made stops in Elliott, Gibson City, Sibley, Melvin, Roberts, Piper City, Kempton and Cabery. 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Several lawmakers are calling on Governor J-B Pritzker to call the General Assembly back to Springfield. The fall veto session was canceled because of the Coronavirus pandemic but 101st District State Representative Dan Caulkins says they want to be at the capitol…

 

 

101st District State Representative Dan Caulkins of Decatur. 

 

 

(Watseka-jm) -- The body of a Watseka soldier returned home Friday. Sergeant Jeremy Sherman was killed in a helicopter accident in Egypt. A plane carrying his body landed at Midway Airport where a motorcade escorted him down I-57 to Gilman and across on Route 24 to Knapp Funeral Home in Watseka. People lined the streets with flags in his honor.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- USDA has a new projection for U.S. agricultural product sales to China during this new 2021 fiscal year. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- A new look at Illinois’ manufacturing industry over the last decade shows that, since 1999, the state has shed one out of every three jobs. That’s far more severe than the national number of one in 4. The report, conducted by Smartest Dollar, looked at Census data on manufacturing sector employment since the turn of the century. It found that the nation’s manufacturing jobs had decreased not only because of outsourcing to countries with lower labor costs but also because the jobs themselves had become more efficient.  The Chicago area accounts for the lion’s share of manufacturing jobs in Illinois, particularly in the automotive industry. In 1999, the metropolitan area supported 648,600 jobs. In 2019, the number had dwindled to 419,500. That’s a reduction of more than 35%. The results are even more pronounced when measuring losses from the recession to last year.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Attorney General Kwame Raoul, along with Connecticut Attorney General William Tong and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, led a coalition of 46 attorneys general in announcing a $17.5 million-dollar settlement with The Home Depot. The settlement resolves a multistate investigation of a 2014 data breach, which exposed the payment card information of approximately 40 million Home Depot consumers nationwide. Illinois will receive more than $1.3 million. The breach occurred when hackers gained access to The Home Depot’s network and deployed malware that enabled them for a period of time to obtain the payment card information of Home Depot customers who used self-checkout lanes at Home Depot stores throughout the U.S. 

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- The Coronavirus pandemic is affecting how Gibson City will ring in the Christmas holiday season. The typical lighted Christmas parade is off for this year, however, a static light display of floats will take place at North Park on December 10th and 11th from 5 to 9 pm. Spokesperson Susie Tongate says kids can also bring letters for Santa…

 

 

Gibson City Christmas Spokesperson Susie Tongate.

 

 

(Mahomet-jm) -- Mahomet firefighters are investigating a garage fire over the weekend. The fire happened near the 1200 block of Partridge Court around 10:50. No injuries were reported.

 

 

(Roberts-jm) -- The village of Roberts is hosting a house decorating contest. The deadline to submit to be apart of the contest is today. Voting will take place until December 20th. To sign up email mavaughan76 at hotmail dot com.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Several lawmakers are calling on Governor J-B Pritzker to call the General Assembly back to Springfield. The fall veto session was canceled because of the pandemic however, 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City says there are several issues from the Coronavirus pandemic to reforms that need to be discussed…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

 

(Watseka-jm) -- A local paramedic has died after contracting Coronavirus. Don Dodson worked for Pro Ambulance before joining Carle’s Arrow ambulance both of which are based in Urbana. Thursday, a procession of emergency vehicles escorted Dodson from Urbana to a funeral home in Watseka.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Looking forward to the coming winter, what are some safe bets in terms of weather expectations for the nation? Stephanie Ho reports…

 

 

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Illinois Federation of Teachers is calling on the state to make remote learning the norm for the foreseeable future

(Springfield-jm) -- Beginning Today, driver services facilities across Illinois will be closed to the public for walk-in service. The shutdown will be for three weeks. Secretary of State Jesse White’s office said employees will still be paid with some drive-up services available. In-person CDL certification at various locations will continue.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois’ 73 adult-use cannabis stores sold more than $75.2 million of pot in October. That brings the total amount sold since January to more than half a billion dollars. For the sales taxes from adult-use cannabis remitted to the state in October, the state brought in $21 million, nearly a million more than the month before, for a total of more than $127 million.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- With COVID-19 well into its second wave, the Illinois Federation of Teachers is calling on the state to make remote learning the norm for the foreseeable future. The IFT thinks a set plan from the governor for all 852 school districts is exactly what they need. 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker says there’s “Real Hope” for widespread distribution of a Coronavirus vaccine by the spring. The nation will be battling COVID-19 for the next few months, but the Governor says there is a light at the end of the tunnel. He notes recent announcements of promising vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. In the meantime, Governor Pritzker says everyone must do what they can to slow the spread of the virus and to ensure as many people as possible are around to receive the vaccine.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 11,632 new Coronavirus cases Monday and 37 additional deaths bringing the state’s total number of cases to 585,248 and deaths to 10,779. Locally since Friday, Champaign County reported 469 new cases bringing their total number of cases to 8,184. McLean County reported 507 new cases and 2 additional deaths bringing their total number of cases to 6,723 and deaths to 45. Iroquois County reported 113 new cases and 1 additional death bringing their total number of cases 1,186 and deaths to 25.  Vermilion County reported 114 new cases bringing their total to 2,267. Livingston County reported 160 new cases to 1,651. Kankakee County reported 754 new cases and 2 additional deaths bringing their total number of cases to 6,722 and deaths to 88. Ford County reported no new cases.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce is gearing up for their annual bag sale. The bag sale starts this weekend says Chamber President Alan Meyer…

 

 

Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce President Alan Meyer.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Champaign County residents may be eligible to receive financial relief to help pay the bills amid the pandemic. The Champaign County Regional Planning Commission is accepting more applications for the CSBG COVID-19 Relief Program. This program is available to Champaign County households that have been financially impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, resulting in past-due rent, mortgage, sewer, or water bill payments. Applications are due by November 30th at 1pm.

 

 

(Charleston-jm) -- Eastern Illinois University students won't return to campus for classes after the Thanksgiving holiday break. EIU will be moving to online-only learning after the break and for the remainder of the fall semester. 

 

 

(Watseka-cf)-- The Watseka Chamber of Commerce will be hosting their annual Christmas Parade this year. If you would like to enter this years parade, Watseka Chamber of Commerce Spokesperson Amanda Hibbs has the details… 

 

 

Watseka Chamber of Commerce Spokesperson Amanda Hibbs. 

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Paxton police have released their recent activity report. On November 13th, no injuries were reported and no tickets issued after a two vehicle accident in the 300 block of S. Market. On November 12th, Amy Martin of Rantoul was ticketed for failure to yield and operating an uninsured motor vehicle following a two vehicle accident at Market and Pells. On November 11th Benjamin Mason of Paxton was arrested for driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol and ticketed for illegal possession of adult use cannabis, leaving the scene of an accident, disobeying a stop sign following a traffic accident at Pells and Spring.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Corn and soybean harvest is now complete in Illinois. There were five days suitable for fieldwork this past week with temperatures more than six degrees above normal and rainfall a little more than usual. Harvesting is now done so State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener looks at the winter wheat crop…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. Average statewide topsoil moisture is rated as 10 percent very short, 21 percent short, 66 percent adequate and three percent surplus.

(Springfield-jm) -- A judge ruled in favor of Governor J-B Pritzker in recent lawsuits against the governor. Sangamon County Judge Raylene Grishow upheld the latest ruling on the lawsuits, stating Pritzker had the authority to issue his executive orders regarding COVID-19. Additionally, Grishow ruled that schools are not exempt from the state's coronavirus mitigations.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker is seeking “tax adjustments” for businesses to bring more revenue into state coffers, following months of stay-at-home orders, continued COVID-19 mitigation and a failed progressive income tax proposal. A five-year budget forecast has the state’s current spending plan nearly $4 billion out of balance. It projects continued deficits in future years. Aside from seeking to close “loopholes,” the administration said it will continue to push for federal aid.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois residents can shop for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act Health Insurance Marketplace. Open enrollment will run through Tuesday, December 15th. The Illinois Department of Insurance said 179 plans are being offered by eight carriers.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- As COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to rise in Illinois, Governor J-B Pritzker is urging everyone to stay home as much as possible. The number of Coronavirus patients in the hospital has increased by 260 percent over the past month and a half. So the message is simple, says Governor Pritzker: stay home if you can and wear a mask if you go out…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. The Governor says Illinois is averaging about 52 hundred COVID patients in the hospital each day, and that the number of hospitalizations has risen 70 percent in just the last two weeks.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois now has 585,248 Coronavirus cases and 10,779 deaths. As for local active and recovered cases, Champaign County reported 7,373 have recovered, 772 are in isolation and 12 are hospitalized. McLean County reported 5,119 have recovered, 1,544 are in isolation and 15 are hospitalized. Iroquois County reported 664 have been released from isolation, 482 are in isolation and 15 are hospitalized. Vermilion County reported 1,916 have been released from isolation, 295 are in isolation and 29 are hospitalized. Livingston County reported 1,191 have been removed from isolation and 445 cases are active. Kankakee County reported 3,318 have recovered, 3,316 cases are active and 86 are hospitalized. Ford County had no report.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Gibson City will ring in the Christmas holiday season a little differently this year. Spokesperson Susie Tongate talks about some of the changes…

 

 

Gibson City Christmas Spokesperson Susie Tongate.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- The University of Illinois Police Department received a report of an alleged extortion scheme. Police say a student told them he engaged in a consensual sexual act via the internet with a person he had met online. The sexual act was allegedly recorded without the student's knowledge, and the offender threatened to share the video with the student's family and friends unless they received payment.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Economic development opportunities are booming in the village of Rantoul. The new $20 million sports complex on the village’s west side is expected to bring new restaurants, hotels and businesses to the village. Rantoul Village Administrator Scott Eisenhower says there is a lot of economic interests in the village…

 

 

Rantoul Village Administrator Scott Eisenhower.

 

 

(Danville-jm) -- Danville Area Community College will be offering an EMT course starting in January. The training, Thursdays from 6-10 pm, will run January 1st  through May 27th. Cost is $750. For more details or to sign up, call 217-443-8777.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Corn and soybean harvest is now complete in Illinois. With five days suitable for fieldwork, farmers were able to finish up harvesting. All of the winter wheat crop has been planted and 92 percent emerged. State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says wheat declined slightly to 66 percent in good to excellent condition. Additionally…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. Temperatures were nearly six degrees above average this past week and rainfall was slightly up, leaving average statewide topsoil moisture at 10 percent very short, 21 percent short, 66 percent adequate and three percent surplus.

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Secretary of State Jesse White is announcing that all driver's services facilities will be closed for a few weeks

(Springfield-jm) -- Independent analysis of COVID-19 data in Illinois by Wirepoints shows the death rate plummeted from nearly 5 percent to 0.9 percent and is clearly more deadly for people of advanced age. Wirepoints President Ted Dabrowski said the data also shows the state is failing to control the virus in nursing homes where nearly half the deaths continue to occur eight months into the pandemic.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Secretary of State Jesse White is announcing that all driver’s services facilities will be closed for a few weeks. As a precaution during the pandemic, the facilities will close Tuesday the 17th and then reopen December 7th says Secretary of State Spokesperson Henry Haupt…

 

 

Illinois Secretary of State Spokesperson Henry Haupt. Haupt reminds there are things you can take care of online at: cyber drive illinois dot com, such as renewing your vehicle registration. Additionally, the expiration date for state driver’s licenses and ID cards has been extended to June 1st of next year.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois has the second-worst recovery of unemployment in the nation. Consumer finance website WalletHub said despite the U.S. dealing with an uptick of COVID-19 cases, new unemployment claims decreased from the week before nationwide. Illinois saw a decrease of new filings by 2,800, but still saw more than 70,000 initial unemployment claims last week. All neighboring states have among the best recovery, with Kentucky ranked 7th best.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker is extending the ban on evictions in Illinois, but with some restrictions. The eviction moratorium will last another 30 days, but will only apply to renters who really need the help says Governor Pritzker…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Renters will have to submit a declaration to their landlord, saying they can’t pay because of loss of income due to COVID-19. That form will be available online at: ihda dot org.

 

 

(Watseka-jm) -- A soldier from Watseka has been identified as one of five U-S service members killed in a helicopter crash in Egypt last week. Army Sergeant Jeremy Sherman was on a peacekeeping mission in the Sinai Peninsula when their helicopter crashed. Sherman was a graduate of Watseka High School.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- The Parkland College Foundation is announcing they are accepting scholarship applications for Spring 2021. Applications are due by 5pm today. 

 

 

(Paxton-cf)-- The Paxton- Buckley-Loda FFA Chamber is accepting donations through this Tuesday. They are accepting small items that can fit into shoe boxes. PBL FFA Members Hope Watts has the details… 

 

 

PBL FFA Member Hope Watts.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Several area school boards meet tonight. The Fisher School Board meets at 630 where they will discuss their tax levy, district report card and the CEO program. At 7 the Mahomet Seymour school board will meet where they will discuss their tax levy and hear an update on the COVID situation within their district. The Fisher School Board meeting gets underway at 6:30 with the Mahomet Seymour School Board meeting getting underway at 7.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Local health officials are raising red flags after a recent surge in Coronavirus cases. Cases have risen significantly not just locally but around the state and even the country. Champaign Urbana Public Health Administrator Julie Pryde says the pandemic will likely get worse this winter…

 

 

Champaign Urbana Public Health Administrator Julie Pryde.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- A historic building on the University of Illinois campus will be getting a makeover. Altgeld and Illini Halls will undergo a massive $200 million renovation. Illini Hall will be torn down in summer 2021 with Altgeld renovations expected to start in the fall of 2021. Both projects are expected to be completed by 2026.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J.B. Pritzker said those who ask questions about his metrics to drive public policy are fueling “conspiracy theories.” All 11 regions of the state are under enhanced mitigations and the Governor has threatened to implement another stay at home order.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- As part of the state’s “Rebuild Illinois” program, downstate communities are receiving $112 million in grants for transit needs. 31 downstate transit providers are receiving the funds says Illinois Department of Transportation Spokesperson Paul Wappel…

 

 

Illinois Department of Transportation Spokesperson Paul Wappel. Wappel says for many people, transit services can be a lifeline for them to get to work, school or the doctor’s office.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J.B. Pritzker is still stopping short of calling a special session. The governor acknowledged his power to bring lawmakers back to deal with issues, but said with the COVID-19 concerns some lawmakers raised in canceling the fall session, even calling a special session doesn’t mean they’ll come back. The Illinois constitution requires lawmakers to meet if the governor calls a special session.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The state is launching a new campaign to promote healthy ways to celebrate the holidays this year. “Healthy Holidays to You” comes as the second wave of COVID-19 is hitting Illinois with a vengeance, and offers advice for the coming weeks says Governor J-B Pritzker…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. The broadcast and social media campaign features quips such as decking the halls with sanitizer, masking before you mistletoe, and if you’re going to jingle, jingle six feet apart.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Those wanting to get tested for COVID can do so in Paxton this week. The Illinois Department of Public Health announced a free mobile testing site is coming to the Ford County Public Health Department in Paxton Friday from 8 to 4.

 

 

(Mahomet-cf)-- There is a Community Fund that was established in June of this year for the Village of Mahomet. There are plenty of places for families to get food, clothes and other resources in the community but not pay their bills. Spokers person for the fund Leah Wenger details why the fund was started… 

 

 

Spokesperson for the Mahomet Community Fund Leah Wenger. 

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Several area school boards meet tonight. The Iroquois West school board meets at 7 where they will hear a presentation of their tax levy, discuss their FY 20 audit, hear their school report card from the state and discuss winter athletics. Also meeting tonight at 7 is the Tri-Point School board where they will discuss their tax levy, Ag department staffing and consider winter sports. The Iroquois West and Tri-Point school board meetings get underway at 7.

 

 

(Champaign-cf)-- The Parade of Lights that takes place in downtown Champaign will take place on Small Business Saturday this year, which is November 28. The Executive Director of the Champaign Center Partnership Xander Hazel has the details… 

 

 

Executive Director of the Champaign Center Partnership Xander Hazel.

 

 

(Pontiac-jm) -- The Livingston County Public Health Department is issuing a stern warning to businesses, employees and customers must wear masks and social distance. The health department sent a letter out giving all businesses their first warning and said they will be conducting compliance checks. They say any business repeatedly failing to comply could be fined.

 

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Governor J-B Pritzker says if COVID-19 numbers don't improve, some sort of stay at home order may be enacted in the coming days

(Springfield-jm) -- Another 70,659 initial unemployment claims were filed last week. That’s down about 2,800 from the 73,500 initial claims filed the week before. The U.S. Department of Labor reports around 339,000 insured unemployed for the final week of October.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois lawmakers are calling for hearings on the state’s response to COVID-19. In a bipartisan virtual press conference, Senator Sue Rezin of Morris said there should be more transparency about why decisions are being made, and that legislators need to have a voice during the pandemic…

 

 

State Senator Sue Rezin of Morris. Rezin and her colleague Representative La Shawn Ford of Chicago are asking legislative leaders to set up the meetings. They say there are many concerns to discuss including extra restrictions on bars and restaurants, and the struggle between tenants who can’t afford to pay rent because of COVID and the landlords needing that income.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker says if COVID-19 numbers don’t improve, some sort of stay at home order may be enacted in the coming days. As the number of new cases soars, the Department of Public Health has asked people to limit their activities and travel, and work from home if they can. Governor Pritzker says if we don’t get spread of the virus under control, a statewide mandate may be in order...

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. The Governor says since October 1st, there has been a 459 percent increase in Coronavirus cases and a 217 percent increase in deaths.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois reported another 12,702 cases and 43 deaths Thursday bringing the state’s total number of cases to 536,542 and deaths to 10,477. Locally, McLean County reported 421 new cases and 1 additional death bringing their total cases to 6,096 and deaths to 42. Champaign County reported 414 new cases bringing their total to 7,558. Ford County reported 32 new cases and 2 additional deaths bringing their total number of cases to 440 and deaths to 19. Kankakee County reported 355 new cases and 1 additional death bringing their total number of cases to 5,722 and deaths to 86. Vermilion County reported 35 new cases bringing their total to 2,063. Livingston County reported 134 new cases and 1 new death bringing their total number of cases to 1,396 and deaths to 14. Iroquois County reported 86 new cases and 1 additional death bringing their total number of cases to 1,014 and deaths to 22.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- We are months into the Coronavirus pandemic and while there has been some recent possible positive news about a vaccine, there’s been a significant rise in cases. With that significant rise in cases, most of the state is under enhanced mitigations to try and slow the spread of the virus. 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington calls some of the Governor’s actions into question…

 

 

53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington.

 

 

(Champaign County-jm) -- Schools in Champaign County will likely be going to remote learning. The health department announced Thursday they are encouraging districts to go remote as soon as possible and plan on remote learning into January. St. Joseph Community Schools and St. Joseph Ogden High School both announced they will go remote starting Monday. Rantoul City Schools will go fully remote on Tuesday. Rantoul Township High School announced they are working on plans to go fully remote as well. Thomasboro Grade School said the school board will discuss the issue at Tuesday nights meeting. Fisher, Mahomet Seymour, Gifford Grade School and Ludlow Grade School have not yet announced any plans. 

 

 

(Watseka-jm) --  A local bank raised money in the month of October to help children and families in need. Iroquois Federal employees participated in Jeans Day Donation every Friday during the month of October. Employees raised $1,325 which will go to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. 

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- The Rantoul Family Sports Complex announced three new partnerships Thursday. One Nation Slow Pitch adult softball will host two weekends of tournaments in August. In April KAOS Sports Foundation will bring a U8 to U14 tackle football tournament. The third announcement is the National Softball Association will host their Senior Softball Tournament at the facility in August.

 

 

(Watseka-jm) -- The Iroquois County Board approved to enter into an agreement for a company to send out emergency alerts to those who sign up to receive them. The Iroquois County Emergency Management Agency recently announced the rollout of that program. Iroquois County Emergency Management Agency Director Eric Ceci talks more about the program…

 

 

Iroquois County Emergency Management Agency Director Eric Ceci.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Seven positions will be up for election in the consolidated election in April in Gibson City. The positions include Mayor currently held by Dan Dickey, City Clerk currently held by Carla Moxley, Treasurer currently held by Scott Shull, Ward 1 Alderman currently held by Susie Tongate, Ward 2 Alderman currently held by Randy Wyant, Ward 3 Alderman currently held by Aaron Kafer and Ward 4 Alderman currently held by Dennis Pardick. All the positions are for 4 year terms.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- U.S. corn and soybean producers are seeing a major change in their market prospects. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

The Loda American Legion will host their fish and chicken fry tonight from 4 to 7:30.

 

The Rantoul American Legion Post 287 Auxiliary will host a drive to collect items such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap and shampoo to benefit the Danville VA on Saturday from 8 to noon in the Legion Parking lot.

 

Paxton IGA will be hosting a cookout benefiting Rainbow Girls on Saturday from 10-2.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Fitch Ratings Agency suggests Illinois could make taxpayers pay more to shore the budget up, a mantra Republicans say is tiring. The agency's report said there are narrow options for the state after voters rejected the progressive income tax and lawmakers could increase taxes. Republicans say they are tired of more borrowing and higher taxes and structural reforms are needed to shore up spending.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The National Donor Sabbath begins today, a time when faith leaders work to raise awareness about organ and tissue donation. The donor sabbath runs through the weekend, encouraging those in faith based communities to sign up to become a donor and dispelling some of the myths about donation. Secretary of State Jesse White says despite what some think, it does not go against most major religions and truly is an act of compassion and generosity…

 

 

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White. White notes that just one donor can give life or improve the lives of 25 other people. Sign up at: life goes on dot com.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois reported another 12,000 coronavirus cases and 43 deaths Thursday bringing the states total number of cases to 536,542 and deaths to 10,477. As for local active and recovered cases McLean County 4,738 have recovered, 1308 are in isolation and 8 are hospitalized. Champaign County reported 6,970 have recovered, 551 are in isolation and 7 hospitalized. Kankakee County reported 3,149 have recovered, 2487 cases are active and 55 are hospitalized. Vermilion County reported 1779 have been released from isolation, 244 are in isolation and 23 are hospitalized. Livingston County reported 1021 have been removed from isolation and 361 cases are active. Iroquois County reported 570 have been released from isolation, 407 remain in isolation and 13 are hospitalized.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Work continues on the new Rantoul Family Sports Complex on the village's west side. Rantoul Village Administrator Scott Eisenhower says they have received interests from restaurants and hotels wanting to come to the area…

 

 

Rantoul Village Administrator Scott Eisenhower.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- One area hospital is implementing visitor restrictions. Starting today, Carle Hospital is implementing visitor and support person restrictions at all of their facilities. No visitors will be allowed in the hospital unless they are a support person for someone underage or with a disability. Visitors will also be allowed for end of life situations.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- The University of Illinois System announced its Board of Trustees has approved a budget of $6.74 billion for fiscal year 2021. The budget also includes $628.6 million in state appropriations, which is unchanged from fiscal year 2020. Additionally, it will provide $402.6 million in scholarships and financial aid, an increase of 20.4 percent. Officials said the budget for the fiscal year that runs through June 2021 is down 3.3 percent from last year's budget of $6.97 billion. The U of I System projects it will incur more than $270 million in negative impacts during the fiscal year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The recent warm and dry weather has fueled further drought conditions across the area. The latest drought monitor issued Thursday shows all of Champaign, most of Vermilion, all but the northwestern corner of Iroquois and the southeastern portion of Ford County in moderate drought. The rest of the area is in the abnormally dry category.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- A Paxton senior living facility is doing a Thanksgiving food drive. Accolade Paxton Senior Living is doing the food drive for the second year in a row, collecting donations to give to area schools. Spokesperson Laura Hicks talks about the donations they are looking for…

 

 

Accolade Paxton Senior Living Thanksgiving food drive Spokesperson Laura Hicks. The last day they are taking donations is November 15th. They can be dropped off at their facility at 450 E. Fulton between the hours of 8 and 4.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- 52nd District State Senator Scott Bennett of Champaign is urging people to shop local for the holiday season. Senator Bennett says small businesses play a vital role in the community. He says you can support them through online sales, carryout or curbside service or by buying gift cards.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- USDA is projecting smaller than expected production and stocks and higher than expected prices. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

The Iroquois County Genealogical Society will host a soup-erstistic supper tonight from 4-7 pm.

 

The Gilman Women’s Club will host the 5k Raider Run/Walk on Saturdayat Iroquois West High School.

 

St. Paul’s Lutheran School in Woodworth will host their drive thru fish fry on Saturday starting at 11 am. Cost is a free will donation.

 

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It's another record setting day for new COVID-19 cases in Illinois

(Springfield-jm) -- It’s another record setting day for new COVID-19 cases in Illinois. The state Department of Public Health is reporting 12,657 new infections and 145 additional deaths. That’s the highest daily death toll since the end of May. Governor J-B Pritzker says the situation is very serious and that more restrictions may come…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Public health officials recommend working from home if possible and only participating in essential activities for the next three weeks, as well as limiting travel and gatherings. No local case numbers were reported Wednesday because of the Veterans Day holiday.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) --  It's no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically impacted education. The Illinois Education Association now says COVID-19 has a third of Illinois teachers looking to leave the profession. The group says this comes as safety concerns and stress are on the rise while many schools are already dealing with teacher shortages. More than 1,300 members were polled on several issues including their experiences with the start of the school year, how the pandemic has affected their plans to be a teacher and if their workload increased. 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The pandemic left hundreds of thousands of people unemployed, so, of course, there is going to be a lot of calls into the Illinois Department of Employment Security. However, this year, the number of inbound calls is more than 15 times higher than last year. From Jan. 1, 2019, to Oct. 13, 2019, IDES took 5,583,184 inbound calls. In the same time frame in 2020, the number skyrocketed to 86,207,724.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker says he’s disappointed the fall legislative veto session has been cancelled. The House and Senate nixed the session due to concerns over COVID-19. Lawmakers don’t have any actual vetoes to consider, but the Governor says he would have liked them to meet…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Governor Pritzker says he will soon be convening the leaders to discuss the budget. The next time lawmakers are scheduled to be back at the capitol is in January for a short lame duck session before a new General Assembly is sworn in.

 

 

(Hoopeston-jm) -- Hoopeston police are investigating a burglary at a business. Police were called to Ross-Leemon Construction after an unknown person forced their way into a secured section of the property. Anyone with information is asked to call Hoopeston police.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Those looking to help a good cause can do so in Rantoul Saturday morning. The Rantoul American Legion Post 287 Auxiliary is accepting donations of toiletries such as toothpaste, shampoo, body wash as well as snacks and hoodies to be donated to the Danville VA. The Auxiliary will be collecting the donations at their parking lot off of Route 45 on the villages north side from 8 am to noon.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The COVID pandemic has brought Paxton’s streetscape project to a halt. Mayor Bill Ingold provides an update on the project…

 

 

Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Will the Panthers of Paxton-Buckley-Loda be on the hardwood this winter? That is a question PBL school board members will decide at tonight’s school board meeting. In addition, the district will discuss their e-learning plan with a public hearing prior to the start of the regular meeting, hear the districts report card from the state and consider approving their FY 21 budget. The PBL School Board meeting gets underway at 6pm.

 

 

(Pesotum-jm) -- District 10 Illinois State Police in Pesotum is increasing their patrols leading up to Thanksgiving. WPXN’s Jason Madden has those details…

 

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Supreme Court is announcing a vacancy in the 11th Judicial Circuit, which covers part of the WPXN area. The vacancy comes with the retirement of Judge Scott Prazewski at the end of the year. The 11th Judicial Circuit covers Ford, Livingston, McLean, Logan and Woodford Counties.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- November is Adoption Awareness Month in Illinois. The theme for this year is What’s Your Connection? The Department of Children and Family Services is encouraging those who have been in the system or helped through adoption to share their stories. Over 18,000 youth are in the system in Illinois.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- After events that have taken place this year involving police, the process to become a law enforcement professional has come under fire in Illinois and across the nation. In Illinois, officials are discussing a switch from certification to licensing officers. The Senate Criminal Law and Special Committee on Public Safety held a hearing this week regarding the idea. However, there is some hesitation among law enforcement to make this change.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The long awaited new, state of the art Chicago Veterans Home is opening. The project has been years in the making and will eventually house 200 Illinois veterans says Governor J-B Pritzker…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. The five story facility is 187 thousand square feet, and includes sections specifically focusing on dementia care. Officials say it will be opening gradually, starting with about 25 residents.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- 52nd District State Senator Scott Bennett is teaming up with Walgreens to provide flu clinics in the area. The next one will take place today at the Hap Parker Aquatic Center in Rantoul. The flu clinic runs from 3-6 pm.

 

 

(Mahomet-jm) -- The Mahomet Seymour FFA Chapter is holding a Thanksgiving canned food drive Saturday. The chapter is accepting donations of canned yams, instant potatoes, canned green beans, cream of mushroom soup, canned corn, jarred turkey gravy, dinner rolls and pies. Those wanting to donate can drop them off in the north parking lot from 10 to 11 am Saturday. The chapter donations will go towards Mom’s Pantry Holiday Basket food drive.

 

 

(Rantoul-cf)-- If you would like to donate toys or make a monetary donation to the Community Service Center of Northern Champaign Counties Holiday Bureau, director Andy Kulyzcki has the details… 

 

 

Director of the Community Service Center of Northern Champaign County Andy Kulyzcki.

 

 

(Fisher-jm) -- Fisher village board members will consider several projects at tonights village board meeting. Trustees will be asked to approve an engineering and design agreement for the N. First St. project, consider a pedestrian bridge on Sangamon St and consider a softball field project. The Fisher village board meeting gets underway at 6.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Will there be a change in Speaker of the House in the Illinois General Assembly? That is a question lawmakers will face before the new session begins in January. Current Speaker Mike Madigan was implicated in a bribery scheme and that has caused some Democrats to back away from the powerful speaker. 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington says he thinks Madigan will have a harder time getting re-elected to the top spot this time…

 

 

53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Paxton police have released their recent enforcement activity. On November 8th, Devin Holt of Paxton was arrested following a domestic issue. On November 7th, a stop sign at Patton and Market was struck by an unknown vehicle. On November 6th, a hit and run was reported at Accolade on Pells in Paxton.

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The Illinois General Assembly fall veto session has been canceled

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois General Assembly fall veto session has been canceled. Officials with the Illinois General Assembly said a "COVID tsunami" prompted the veto session's cancelation. The session was scheduled to begin November 17th.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- A proposed rule from the Illinois State Board of Education to have Illinois teachers vow they’ll encourage progressive views is unconstitutional and discriminatory, according to the Pro-Family Alliance and the Thomas More Society. The groups say the rule requires people to affirm ideologies they may not agree with and the rule should be dropped entirely.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- How did corn, soybean, and cotton production forecasts and price estimates fare in USDA's November reports? Rod Bain reports…

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois reported an additional 12,623 cases and 79 deaths Wednesday bringing the state’s total number to 511,183 and deaths to 10,289. Locally, McLean County reported 167 new cases bringing their total to 5,675. Ford County reported 12 new cases bringing their total to 408. Champaign County reported 15 new cases and 5 additional deaths bringing their total number of cases to 7,144 and deaths to 37. Vermilion County reported 58 new cases and 2 additional deaths bringing their total number of cases to 1,983 and deaths to 17. Iroquois County reported 50 new cases bringing their total to 929. Livingston County reported 109 new cases and 1 additional death bringing their total number of cases to 1,262 and deaths to 13. Kankakee County reported 202 new cases and 3 additional deaths bringing their total number of cases to 5,367 and deaths to 85.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- A non-partisan group of lawmakers have released a report on the Illinois Department of Employment Security’s handling of the unemployment crisis following the Coronavirus pandemic. State Representative Tom Bennett discusses the findings…

 

 

State Representative Tom Bennett. Representative Bennett says he along with several other members of the General Assembly have called for public hearings on the issue.

 

 

(Rural Paxton-jm) -- Firefighters from Paxton and Rankin were called to rescue a person stuck in a grain bin Tuesday afternoon. Firefighters received the call just about 3:15 at 200 N 2526 E.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- There is a vacancy on the Paxton City Council. Kammy Johnson Anderson resigned at last night’s city council meeting effective at the end of the month. Johnson Anderson cited becoming Ford County’s new circuit clerk as the reason for her resignation.

 

 

(Watseka-jm) -- Iroquois County residents have another option when it comes to receiving emergency alerts. The county entered an agreement with a company to provide community and emergency alerts. Iroquois County Emergency Management Agency Director Eric Ceci has how you can sign up…

 

 

Iroquois County EMA Director Eric Ceci.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Good news for drivers: gas prices dropped over the last week. Getting gas is now 2.6 cents cheaper. According to GasBuddy, a gallon costs an average of $2.11. That’s more than $.06 cheaper than last month, and it’s down $.35 from this time last year. 

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- The election may be over but one race in Champaign County has yet to be determined. Ballots continue to be counted for the circuit clerk. Currently, democrat Susan Mcgarth has a slight lead over incumbent republican Katie Blakeman. The county clerk’s office is urging people to double-check that their ballots were counted.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois is joining a multi-state effort to lower veteran suicide rates. The state is joining the nationwide “Governor’s Challenge to Prevent Suicide.” That includes putting two million dollars towards the initiative for mental health and suicide prevention programs says Illinois Department of Human Services Spokesperson Marisa Kollias…

 

 

Illinois Department of Human Services Spokesperson Marisa Kollias. In 2019, suicide was the 12th leading cause of death overall, but the third leading cause of death for those age one to 24.

(Springfield-jm) -- The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum will offer free admission to veterans today. For those interested, the museum asks that you bring military identification. All visitors must wear face coverings and go through a brief COVID-19 screening before entering.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The state of Illinois is seeking a private company to help distribute a possible COVID-19 vaccine. In a procurement announcement, the Illinois Department of Public Health said it hopes to award a contract by the end of the month. It’s unclear how much such a contract would cost.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- This week's new USDA corn and soybean crop estimates turned out to be surprisingly low. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois now has more than half a million confirmed Coronavirus cases after the state reported another 12,623 cases. The state also reported another 79 deaths including 5 new in Champaign County, 2 new in Vermilion County, 1 new in Livingston County and 3 new in Kankakee County. As for local active and recovered cases, McLean County reported 4,590 have recovered, 1,034 are in isolation and 10 are hospitalized. Champaign County reported 6,757 have recovered, 350 are in isolation and 7 are hospitalized. Vermilion County reported 1,730 have been removed from isolation, 213 remain in isolation and 27 are hospitalized. Iroquois County reported 558 have been released from isolation, 340 remain in isolation and 10 are hospitalized. Livingston County reported 934 have been removed from isolation and 315 cases are active. Kankakee County reported 3,096 have recovered, 1,976 cases are active and 59 are hospitalized.

 

 

(Rantoul-cf)--If you want to get registered for the Community Service Center of Northern Champaign County’s Holiday Bureau, it must be done face to face. Director of the Community Service Center of Northern Champaign County Andy Kulyzcki has the details… 

 

 

Director of the Community Service Center of Northern Champaign County Andy Kulyzcki.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Gibson City is announcing some changes to their leaf pickup program. The city says pickup has been delayed because of the pandemic along with working on some other projects. Crews will only make one pass starting on November 20th. 

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Skaters in Gibson City will be able to do so starting this weekend. The Ed Day skate park opens to the public Saturday. 

 

 

(Ashkum-jm) -- District 21 Illinois State Police in Ashkum will be busy leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. WPXN’s Jason Madden details all the enforcement patrols…

 

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- The holidays are approaching, and FedEx is looking to hire more employees to help throughout the busy season. FedEx plans to hire more than 400 seasonal workers at its Ground facility in Champaign. The company is hiring package handlers. These part-time seasonal jobs may turn into full-time opportunities. Day and night shifts are available.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- The University of Illinois is spearheading a $2 million project for cybersecurity. A team there is creating a cybersecurity education program for the Critical Infrastructure Resilience Institute. The program will teach people about the workforce to hopefully gain more momentum in the field. The team will research and develop an academic standard curriculum that will be implemented in colleges and schools across the nation. It will focus mainly on rural, minority, and gender inclusivity to build a more comprehensive and diverse workforce.

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The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is urging struggling businesses to apply for Business Interruption Grants

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois saw more than $100 million in marijuana sales in October. The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation says there was a record $75 million in recreational pot sales last month. Sales of medical marijuana totaled another $33 million. Illinois officials say the first 10 months of legal cannabis sales total more than $500 million, with about $300 million in medical pot sales.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is urging struggling businesses to apply for Business Interruption Grants. Plenty of money is still available in this second round of grants, which don’t need to be paid back says DCEO Director Erin Guthrie…

 

 

Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Director Erin Guthrie. Guthrie says they are really focusing on getting more downstate, minority owned and agriculture businesses to apply in this round. It’s taking about two to three weeks for the department to process grant applications. Find out more at dceo dot illinois dot gov.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois topped another 10,000 new Coronavirus cases Monday bringing the state’s total to 498,560 and deaths to 10,210. Locally since Friday, McLean County reported 260 new cases bringing their total to 5,508. Champaign County reported 170 new cases bringing their total to 7,129. Vermilion County reported 71 new cases bringing their total to 1,925. Livingston County reported 177 new cases bringing their total to 1,153. Kankakee County reported 502 new cases bringing their total to 5,164. Ford County reported 71 new cases bringing their total to 396. Iroquois County reported 104 new cases bringing their total to 879.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- As for case numbers in area communities per the Illinois Department of Public Health and local health departments since the start of the pandemic: 593 in Rantoul, 289 in Mahomet, 177 in Fairbury, 174 in Hoopeston, 164 in St. Joseph, 159 in Paxton, 125 in Watseka, 124 in Clifton, 119 in Gilman, 107 in Chebanse, 92 in Gibson City, 75 in Cissna Park, 69 in Fisher, 68 each in Piper City and Onarga, 63 in Forrest, 51 in Milford, 48 in Potomac, 35 in Chatsworth, 33 in Crescent City, 32 each in Thomasboro and Danforth, 30 in Loda, 28 in Gifford, 26 in Rankin, 25 in Donovan, 21 in Cabery, 19 in Sheldon, 18 each in Melvin and Beaverville, 17 each in Buckley and Martinton, 14 each in Roberts and Penfield, 11 each in Ludlow, Thawville, Foosland and Elliott, 10 in Strawn, 9  in Kempton and 8 each in Dewey and Cullom.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- According to the state, 10 school districts across the state have outbreaks in the schools. Locally, Central High School has an outbreak with between 5 and 10 cases involving students.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Corn and soybean harvesting is starting to wrap up as we hear in the weekly crop report. It was a warm, dry week in Illinois, giving farmers plenty of time in the fields says State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 97 percent of winter wheat has been planted and 90 percent emerged. Average statewide topsoil moisture decreased to six percent very short, 25 percent short, 67 percent adequate and two percent surplus.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Gibson Area Hospital announced late Monday all Elite locations will be closed until at least December 1st. The hospital said the closure is for the health and safety of clients and staff.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Business owners who need assistance guiding through the public health recommendations have an option. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City says the Illinois Department of Labor is offering a free service for businesses owners…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City. That website again is illinois dot gov slash work safe.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Paxton and Rantoul town councils meet tonight. In Rantoul, the Rantoul village board will meet at 6 to consider the purchase of a new front end loader, consider the village's tax levy and consider a local CURES program. At 7 tonight, the Paxton city council will consider a zoning change for Eastern Illini and consider amending some definitions for zoning codes. The Rantoul village board meeting gets underway at 6 and the Paxton city council meeting gets underway at 7.

 

 

(Paxton-cf)-- The PBL Education Foundation is currently hosting their annual fundraiser. The money raised goes to literacy programs, and this year still will, but it will also go to a new area. Pandemic relief.. 

 

 

PBL Education Foundation President Robin Neiwold. If you would like to donate you can do so at pbleducationfoundation.org 

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Paxton firefighters were called to a structure fire early Monday afternoon. Firefighters got the call at 90 N 2280 E just before 1. Ludlow, Loda and Gifford were called to assist. The structure was a total loss. No word on the cause of the fire.

 

 

(Roberts-jm) -- Roberts is looking for a new ordinance officer. Janet Walker announced she is resigning at the end of the month. Those interested in the position can email village president Matt Vaughan at mavaughan76 at gmail dot com. You do not have to be a resident of Roberts to apply for the position.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Three members of the special investigative committee looking into allegations against House Speaker Michael Madigan are calling the actions of the committee into question, specifically those of Committee Chairman Representative Chris Welch. In the 71 days since the petition, the committee has only met twice and has heard from one voluntary witness. As of yesterday, no committee hearings scheduled for the foreseeable future.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Three regions of the state are about to be under even stricter COVID-19 mitigations. Regions 5, 7 and 8, which includes southern Illinois and Will, Kankakee, DuPage and Kane Counties will be subject to Tier 2 restrictions starting Wednesday says Governor J-B Pritzker…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. The three regions join northwestern Illinois, which has been under Tier Two for a few weeks now. Governor Pritzker says statewide, the number of daily COVID cases has increased 380 percent since October 1st.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois reported 10,573 new cases Monday and 14 additional deaths. As for local active and recovered cases, McLean County reported 4,502 have recovered, 952 are in isolation and 13 are hospitalized. Champaign County reported 6,679 have recovered, 420 are in isolation and 6 are hospitalized. Vermilion County reported 1,669 have been released from isolation, 220 are in isolation and 21 are hospitalized. Livingston County reported 905 have been removed from isolation and 236 cases are active. Kankakee County reported 3,035 have recovered, 2,027 cases are active and 48 are hospitalized. Iroquois County reported 551 have been released from isolation, 299 are in isolation and 8 are hospitalized. Ford County could not provide updated active and recovered information at this time.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Sadly several COVID related deaths were reported in the area over the weekend. McLean County added 2 new deaths bringing their total to 41. Champaign County added 3 new deaths bringing their total to 32. Vermilion County added 1 new death bringing their total to 15. Ford County had an additional death bringing their total to 17. Iroquois County also added one new death bringing their total to 21. 

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Cases have also been reported in Long Term Care facilities locally. According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, 139 cases and 14 deaths have been tied to facilities in Ford County. 136 cases and 18 deaths have been tied to facilities in Iroquois County. 193 cases and 10 deaths have been tied to facilities in Champaign County. 56 cases and 1 death has been tied to facilities in Vermilion County. In Kankakee County 581 cases and 47 deaths have been tied to facilities. 30 cases and 1 death have been tied to facilities in Livingston County. In McLean County 228 cases and 23 deaths have been tied to facilities.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Corn and soybean harvesting is starting to wrap up as we hear in the weekly crop report. Thanks to a warm, dry week in Illinois, 95 percent of corn and 96 percent of soybeans have been harvested. State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener gives an update on winter wheat…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. Average statewide topsoil moisture declined to six percent very short, 25 percent short, 67 percent adequate and two percent surplus.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The American Soybean Association is seeking candidates for their soy scholarship. The scholarship is available to high school seniors interested in an ag career. The deadline to apply is December 6th. Application details are available online at american soybean dot wufoo dot com slash forms.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Accolade Paxton Senior Living is hosting a Thanksgiving food drive. The facility is looking for non perishable food items such as stuffing, instant mashed potatoes, canned vegetables and other Thanksgiving themed food. Spokesperson Laura Hicks has the details on how you can drop those items off…

 

 

Accolade Paxton Senior Living Thanksgiving Food Drive Spokesperson Laura Hicks. The donations will be given out to students in area schools.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Vermilion County Board and St. Joseph village board meet tonight. The Vermilion County Board will meet at 6 where county board members are expected to approve the appointments of several individuals to the county board of health, hear an update on the county’s land bank program and consider budget amendments for the county coroner and state’s attorney. In St. Joseph at 7, village board members will be asked to approve the village’s tax levy and approve a bid for $2,450 to remove 5 trees in the village. The Vermilion County Board meeting gets underway at 6 with the St. Joseph village board meeting getting underway at 7.

 

 

(Rantoul-cf)-- The Community Service Center of Northern Champaign County’s Holiday Bureau pickup system for this year's event will look a little different this year. Director of the Community Service Center of Northern Champaign County Andy Kulyzcki has the details… 

 

 

Director of the Community Service Center of Northern Champaign County Andy Kulyzcki.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) --  A University of Illinois student was attacked outside a fraternity house Friday.  The student was walking through a parking lot adjacent to the fraternity house in the 400 block of East John St. in Champaign around 11:30 p.m. when he said three men got out of a vehicle parked on the street nearby and assaulted him. The student went to a local hospital for treatment of facial injuries. Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact the Champaign Police Department at 217-351-4545 or crime stoppers at 217-373-8477.

 

 

(Danville-jm) -- Registration for spring and winter courses at Danville Area Community College is underway. Winter courses run December 21st through January 8th online only. The spring semester starts January 19th.

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With Coronavirus cases soaring, the Illinois Department of Public Health says families need to rethink how they usually celebrate the holidays

(Springfield-jm) -- The state is releasing COVID-19 contact tracing data, showing outbreaks and possible sources of exposure. The information is updated weekly and is available on the Illinois Department of Public Health’s website. It includes outbreak locations and the top sources of exposure says Governor J-B Pritzker…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. The Governor says they have improved the system so that you’re called, the number will show up as “Illinois COVID Help” instead of an unknown number that you may ignore.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker is self isolating after coming in contact with someone who tested positive. The Governor’s office said the exposure occurred Monday during a meeting in his office. The Governor was tested and came back negative.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- With Coronavirus cases soaring, the Illinois Department of Public Health says families need to rethink how they usually celebrate the holidays. Family gatherings where you see relatives you haven’t been around since the pandemic began have been a significant source of spread of the virus. State Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike says it may be just too big of a risk to get everyone together this year…

 

 

Illinois Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike. Ezike reminds that even if you aren’t showing symptoms you could be carrying the virus and spreading it to those at high risk, and that there are several sources of exposure no matter how you choose to travel.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois Senate Minority Leader Dan McConchie said taxpayers who are the victim of unemployment fraud should do everything they can to get it cleared up. There could be tax implications for filings next year. McConchie recently got unemployment benefits sent to him fraudulently. He said the state’s unemployment agency needs to tell the legislature what it needs to clear up the issue and clear through backlogs for getting benefits out.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is reminding hunters to take important safety precautions as they head out into the fields. When it comes to hunting accidents, unsafe tree stands are often the culprit. Department of Natural Resources Spokesperson Rachel Torbert recommends checking your tree stand before using it…

 

 

Illinois Department of Natural Resources Spokesperson Rachel Torbert. Torbert says hunters should also wear either blaze orange or pink and be certain of their target before pulling the trigger. Last year there were 20 hunting incidents reported in Illinois.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- A St. Joseph woman was arrested in Paxton on drug charges. Casey McCartney was arrested following a traffic stop for speeding at Pells and Stockholm. As the officer approached the vehicle, they noticed the smell of cannabis. A search of the vehicle uncovered over 10 grams of cannabis and four tenths of a gram of cocaine. McCartney was charged with possession of a controlled substance and illegal possession of adult use cannabis.


 

(Rantoul-jm) -- A 16 year old was arrested following a shots fired incident in Rantoul over the weekend. Rantoul police were called to the 700 block of Willow Pond Road just before 1:30 Saturday afternoon. Officers located evidence of shots fired and were given a description of a possible vehicle. That vehicle was located and a search uncovered a handgun with a defaced serial number. The juvenile was charged with possession of a stolen firearm and defacing identification marks of a firearm.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Several city council meetings and one county board meeting are scheduled for tonight around the area. The Ford County Board will meet at 7 tonight where they will discuss setting the salary for the circuit clerk position as well as some other department heads, consider an electronics recycling and discuss the sale of 3 properties for delinquent taxes. Gibson City leaders will meet tonight at 7 where they will consider a zoning variance for a residence in the 300 block of S. State Street and consider medical plan benefits. Gilman city leaders will also meet tonight at 7 where they are expected to consider an engineering proposal for the Third, Main and Maple roadway improvement project, consider the city’s tax levy and consider an agreement with the Iroquois County Sheriff’s office for coverage. The Ford County Board, Gibson City city council and Gilman city council all meet tonight at 7.

 

 

(Rantoul-cf)-- The Community Service Center of Northern Champaign County is teaming up with the Salvation Army again this year for the Holiday Bureau. With the ongoing pandemic, families will not be able to go to the Bethany Park Christain Church church in Rantoul and select their items for their kids. This year families are being asked to register, and fill out the needs of each child says Director Andy Kulczsicki… 

 

 

Community Service Center of Northern Champaign County Director Andy Kulyzcki.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- The Parkland College Foundation is announcing they are accepting scholarship applications for Spring 2021. Applications are due by 5pm on Monday, November 16th.

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike says the cost of trying to establish COVID-19 herd immunity is too great. Some have suggested that if enough people get the virus, the majority of the population will become immune and the pandemic will end. But Dr Ezike points out with less than 10 percent of Illinoisans testing positive so far, over 10 thousand have already died…

 

 

Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike. Ezike says that is not a moral solution to the problem.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The risk of catching the virus in the dentist’s chair is low, according to infection rates in the industry. Infection data compiled up to June found fewer than one percent of dentists nationwide had been infected with COVID-19, even ones that had continued to see customers.  

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- More COVID-19 restrictions may be in the future for Illinoisans. Governor J.B Pritzker said his administration may implement new, more stringent restrictions statewide if virus numbers continue to increase. Months ago, the governor’s orders prohibited indoor restaurant and retail service and also limited elective medical procedures.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is announcing COVID safety precautions for deer C-W-D stations. Deer hunters in some counties are required to take their harvest to a chronic wasting disease check station. Department of Natural Resources Spokesperson Rachel Torbert says there are a few changes this year…

 

 

Illinois Department of Natural Resources Spokesperson Rachel Torbert. The firearm deer hunting season in Illinois is November 20th through the 22nd and December 3rd through 6th.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- A man who defrauded the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign of more than $265,000 was sentenced to three and a half years in federal prison. Eric Marcel Mboule of Tucker, Georgia will spend 42 months behind bars for his role in the defrauding. He will also serve three years of supervised release following his sentence. Mboule pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Officials said that in 2016, Mboule worked with others to execute a fraudulent scheme against the university. They deceived U of I officials into believing that a building contractor working for the university had changed banking information prior to the contractor receiving the next scheduled payment. Mboule was also ordered to pay the university over $265 thousand.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Construction on the $20 million Rantoul Family Sports Complex continues. Village Administrator Scott Eisenhower talks about the projects timeline…

 

 

Rantoul Village Administrator Scott Eisenhower.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Two area school districts are expected to make a decision about basketball tonight. The Tri-Point School District will hold a special meeting to make their decision tonight at 6. Also at 6 Rantoul Township High School will discuss that as well as their tentative tax levy and appointing a new school board member. Both the Rantoul Township High School and Tri-Point School Boards get underway at 6pm.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The state announced another round of funding to expand broadband access around Illinois. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City talks about the program and how it will help rural communities…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

 

(Ashkum-jm) -- District 21 Illinois State Police have released October enforcement numbers. During the month, troopers issued 606 citations and 911 written warnings including 20 DUIs, 50 seatbelt citations and 40 criminal arrests. Troopers also responded to 74 traffic accidents.

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Hearing on Michael Madigan possible bribery scheme postponed

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois House committee investigating if Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan’s actions in a bribery scheme were unbecoming of a lawmaker won't hold a hearing today as scheduled. Committee chairman state Representative Chris Welch issued a statement Wednesday that the hearing he scheduled to happen after the election would be postponed. Welch said the committee was waiting for more documents from ComEd and out of caution over spreading COVID-19. Republicans on the committee expressed frustration and disappointment over the announcement.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker is issuing a dire warning after his graduated income tax proposal failed to pass. If approved, the new tax structure was predicted to generate more than three billion dollars in revenue each year. Without that money, the Governor says the state is in a tough fiscal situation...

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. The Governor says he will be discussing options with lawmakers in the coming days and isnt ruling out a tax increase. Opponents of the proposal argued it would hurt small businesses and give the legislature more power to raise taxes in the future.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) --  Senator Bill Brady announced he will not seek reelection as Minority Leader in the Illinois Senate. Senator Brady made the announcement to the Senate Republican Caucus in a memo on Wednesday. 

 

 

(Paxton-cf)-- The PBL Education Foundation is hosting their annual fundraiser. President of the Foundation Robin Neiwold gives us details on this year's fundraiser… 

 

 

PBL Education Foundation President Robin Neiwold. 

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Iroquois County Administrative Center is once again closed to the public. The closure is effective starting today and going until further notice. All county functions will remain in operation. The Paxton Park District also announced they too are closing their office until further notice. Those needing assistance are asked to leave a message and someone will return the call.

 

 

(Pesotum-jm) -- Illinois State Police District 10 troopers will be conducting roadside safety checks this month in Champaign County. Troopers will be looking for those driving under the influence, safety belt and child safety seat violations, speeding and distracted driving.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- There is a growing list of groups pushing for a state ethics report to be released. The push comes after many high profile members of the General Assembly have been accused of ethics violations says 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- A Paxton nursing facility is collecting donations to help families during the holidays. Accolade Paxton Senior Living, formerly the Knights Templar, is hosting the food drive through November 15th. Donations can be dropped off at their location, 450 E. Fulton from 8 to 4. For more information, call 379-2116.

 

 

(Watseka-jm) -- IF Bancorp, parent company of Iroquois Federal, a Watseka based bank reported 1st quarter net income of $1.3 million. Earnings were 44 cents per share. The company reported $6.6 million in expenses and $8 million in revenue which beat Wall Street expectations.

 

The American Red Cross will hold a blood drive at the Garage Community Center in Gilman from 9 to 3 today.

 

The Parkland College Foundation will host a scholarship workshop via zoom or Parkland College’s Facebook page today from noon to 1.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinoisans voted not to retain a state Supreme Court Justice Tuesday, something that’s never happened in Illinois history. But what happens now? According to the states constitution, the court will appoint someone for a two year term. Then it will become an open seat where a Democrat and Republican primary will take place in the spring of 2022 where the winners will face off in the fall election.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is urging anyone who may have been exposed to COVID-19 on election day to get tested. State Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike says if you were a poll worker, waited in line to vote or participated in any rallies or protests, its probably a good idea to get a test...

 

 

State Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike. Ezike says it can take up to two weeks sometimes to show infection. She says there are 11 community testing sites across the state as well as mobile units where you dont need to be showing symptoms, make an appointment or have insurance to get tested.

 

 

(Rantoul-cf)-- The Community Service Center of Northern Champaign County will be conducting their Holiday Bureau again this Christmas season. Director Andy Kulcziki has the details on what the Holiday Bureau is… 

 

 

Director of the Community Service Center of Northern Champaign County Andy Kulyzcki.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Paxton zoning committee will meet tonight to hear a request from Eastern Illini. The electric cooperative is requesting their zoning be changed from R2 to M1. The zoning meeting gets underway at 7pm at city hall.

 

 

(Gibson City-cf)-- The Gibson City Historical Committee will be hosting a fundraiser for Gibson City’s 2021 Sesquicentennial. The 2020 Crazy Wine Down event will be held Saturday November 7th. Spokesperson Susie Tongate has the details… 

 

 

2020 Wine Down Spokesperson Susie Tongate.

 

(Ford County-jm) -- The Ford County Sheriff’s Office has released their October activity report. Deputies issued 18 citations including 13 for speeding, 2 for disobeying a stop sign and 1 each for operating an uninsured motor vehicle, driving with no headlights when required and an unlicensed driver. Deputies also handled 10 animal complaints, 9 for suspicious vehicles, 6 each for suspicious persons and fraud, 5 each for harassment and domestic issues, 3 each for burglary and sex offender notification and 2 each for suicide threat, theft and juvenile complaint and 1 for criminal damage to property.

 

 

(Danville-jm) -- East Central Illinois Community Action Agency will be hosting a drive thru health fair this week. The health fair will take place on Friday from 1-4 at their Danville location, 56 N. Vermilion Street.

 

The American Red Cross will hold a blood drive at the Paxton Church of Christ today from 12:30-5:30 pm.

 

The Melvin Women’s Club will host State Representative Tom Bennett this evening starting at 7pm at the Melvin Community Hall.

 

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Illinois Voters Vote No for the Progressive Tax

(Undated--jc)  Counting on several issues continues including the U S Presidential race. With a report of several counties and state races is WPXN”s Joel Cluver.

 

 

The voters did vote No for the Progressive Tax.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois is mostly surrounded by states that have among the lowest unemployment rates. In September, Iowa’s unemployment rate was 4.7 percent. Missouri’s was 4.9 percent. Wisconsin was at 5.4 percent. Kentucky was at 5.6 percent unemployment, and Indiana was at 6.2 percent. Illinois’ unemployment rate in September was the fifth-worst in the country at 10.2 percent.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- While the rest of the nation grew at a record 33.1 percent in the previous quarter, Illinois’ recovery has barely nudged upward. The U.S. Commerce Department reported the nation’s historic growth last week, months into the pandemic. An economic index from the University of Illinois on Monday reported individual income tax receipts for Illinois were lower than they were last year.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker says communities need to follow state issued COVID-19 safety rules. Some bars and restaurants are vowing to stay fully open, regardless of mitigations not allowing indoor dining. Governor Pritzker explains why local leaders and law enforcement must take this seriously…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. COVID-19 hospitalizations have been on the rise in Illinois, and the latest daily case total is 6,516 and death toll is 68. The state now has 430,018 cases and 9,878 deaths. The seven day positivity rate now stands at 8.2 percent. The state is also reporting all 11 regions have a positivity rate over 9 percent.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Construction of the Rantoul Family Sports Complex continues. Village Administrator Scott Eisenhower talks about the progress of the project…

 

 

Rantoul Village Administrator Scott Eisenhower.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- An outbuilding at a Paxton business was destroyed by fire Tuesday afternoon. Paxton firefighters were called to the fire at Lee Excavating just before 1pm.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- A Paxton park could see their hours changing. Paxton Park District Director Cody Evans says the changes could be coming to Westlawn Park…

 

 

Paxton Park District Director Cody Evans.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois housing market continued to bounce back in September. According to Illinois Realtors, home sales rose 35.2 percent from 13,060 in September 2019 to 17,658 in September 2020. The median price increased 17.5 percent from $200,000 to $235,000. The time it took to sell a home was 44 days. Available inventory was down significantly from 62,406 in September 2019 to 40,047 in 2020.

 

(Undated--jc)   The votes are in, but several races remain undecided including the presidential race. With results for the local and state is WPXN’s Joel Cluver

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J.B. Pritzker is warning more restrictions could be coming to regions that don’t see decreases in the COVID-19 positivity rate. Starting today, the entire state will be under increased mitigation. The Rockford region is under Tier II, which could prohibit indoor shopping at businesses the governor deems nonessential, but that option hasn’t been implemented. Tier III could prohibit elective medical procedures. Regions must be below a 6.5 percent positivity rate to see restrictions relaxed.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Gaming Board is delaying approving new casino applicants for six months. The gaming board says there have been a number of applicants that have pending requests to amend their applications. Officials said the Board will give applicants a status update in 90 days.

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Paxton City Council approved a redevelopment agreement for the Paxton motel. Mayor Bill Ingold talks about the agreement and the work being done at the motel…

 

 

Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold. Mayor Ingold says the money will come from Tax Increment Financing funds.

 

 

(Clifton-jm) -- A Champaign man was arrested after police say he carjacked a vehicle in Clifton and led police on a chase into Chicago. Illinois State Police say they were notified of the incident at the Clifton Circle K just before 4pm. Troopers located the vehicle on I-57 and pursued it until the chase ended at 71st and Hoyne in Chicago.

 

 

(Watseka-jm) -- Iroquois County residents have a new way to receive emergency alerts. The county signed a contract with a company to provide the service, says Iroquois County Emergency Management Agency Director Eric Ceci…

 

 

Iroquois County Emergency Management Agency Director Eric Ceci.

 

 

(Mattoon-jm) -- First Mid Illinois reported 3rd quarter profits of $11.6 million. The Matton based bank with locations around the area reported earnings of 69 cents per share which exceeded Wall Street expectations of 59 cents per share.

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It's Election Day!!

(Springfield-jm) -- The enrollment period for health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act is now open. If you’re in need of health insurance, there are plenty of choices through the marketplace says Illinois Department of Insurance Director Robert Muriel…

 

 

Illinois Department of Insurance Director Robert Muriel. Three different levels of coverage are offered and a tax credit for premium costs is available to those who qualify. To start searching for a plan that works for you, visit: get covered illinois dot gov.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- With one remaining region of the state set for COVID-19 mitigations Wednesday, and more businesses filing county-level lawsuits against the governor, the Illinois Restaurant Association says it won’t file a lawsuit. Rather, they’d support the lawsuits its members are filing across the state. President Sam Toia said the association decided to file statements on existing cases in counties across the state.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- COVID-19 conditions continue to decline in Illinois. The daily number of new confirmed cases has been over six thousand for six days in a row now and the pandemic doesn’t seem to be letting up says Governor J-B Pritzker…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. As of Wednesday, the entire state will be under stricter safety guidelines such as no indoor dining or bar service due to rising positivity rates.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Looking at the numbers reported yesterday locally. Since Friday, McLean County reported 125 new cases bringing their total to 4,483. Champaign County reported 258 new cases bringing their total to 6,588. Livingston County reported 63 new cases bringing their total to 840. Vermilion County reported 51 new cases bringing their total to 1,701. Kankakee County reported 245 new cases bringing their total to 4,014. Iroquois County reported 46 new cases bringing their total to 648.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health along with area health departments are reporting cases in area communities. Since the pandemic started, 538 cases were in Rantoul, 266 in Mahomet, 149 in St. Joseph, 135 in Hoopeston, 101 in Fairbury, 89 in Gilman, 86 in Clifton, 84 in Paxton, 76 in Watseka, 71 in Chebanse, 61 each in Fisher and Piper City, 48 in Cissna Park, 44 in Gibson City, 41 in Forrest, 40 each in Onarga and Potomac, 39 in Ashkum, 37 in Milford, 28 each in Thomasboro and Rossville, 23 in Chatsworth, 22 in Danforth, 20 in Gifford, 19 each in Loda and Crescent City, 17 each in Rankin and Donovan, 15 in Sheldon, 14 in Saybrook, 13 in Cabery, 12 in Beaverville, 11 in Ludlow, 10 each in Penfield and Wellington, 9 each in Foosland, Buckley, Roberts, Bellflower and Martinton, 8 in Dewey, 7 in Cullom, 6 each in Kempton, Melvin and Strawn and 6 in Colfax.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The election is today. Ford County Clerk Amy Frederick has the races for Ford County…

 

 

Ford County Clerk Amy Frederick. Champaign County voters will have a variety of positions to vote for in this year’s election. County Clerk Aaron Ammons runs through the ballot…

 

 

Champaign County Clerk Aaron Ammons. Champaign County residents will be asked to approve a referendum for the forest preserve. In addition, voters will also be asked about a change to the state’s tax structure. Polls close tonight at 7.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- 32 businesses in Champaign and Vermilion Counties have received Business Interruption Grant funding. 52nd District State Senator Scott Bennett made the announcement recently. The 32 businesses received a total of $1.65 million to cover payroll, rent and utilities during the pandemic.

 

 

(Ashkum-jm) -- District 21 Illinois State Police in Ashkum have released numbers for two recent patrols. During Occupant Restraint Enforcement Patrols, 15 safety belt citations were issued. During Alcohol Countermeasure Enforcement patrols, 2 were cited for drug or alcohol related offenses, 2 for occupant restraint offenses, 2 for registration offenses and 1 for drivers license offenses.

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Ford County Treasurer Krisha Shoemaker is reminding residents the 2nd installment of 2019 payable in 2020 real estate taxes are due this Friday. Taxes can be paid at the courthouse, the dropbox in front of the courthouse, at any Ford County bank, online at gov tech tax pro dot com or by mail if postmarked by this Friday.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- COVID-19 has adjourned a federal courtroom in Illinois for the remainder of the year. The U.S. 7th District Court in Central Illinois announced late Friday that it would suspend all jury trials and public gatherings until Jan. 25, 2021. The 7th District covers 46 counties including Ford, Iroquois, Champaign, Vermilion, McLean, Kankakee and Livingston Counties.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Corn and soybean harvesting continues ahead of the five year average. About four and a half days were suitable for fieldwork this past week, with wet conditions in southern counties. Overall, harvesting is on track says State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 94 percent of winter wheat has been planted and 82 percent has emerged. Average statewide topsoil moisture increased to three percent very short, 18 percent short, 68 percent adequate and 11 percent surplus.

 

OSF St. James-John Albrecht in Pontiac will hold their diabetes support group tonight at 6pm.

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker is urging the public not to rely on social media for election results. With so many mail in ballots to be counted, it may take at least a few days to finalize winners. The Governor says you need to be careful about election information on social media sites…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Pritzker advises people to get election results from reputable news sources or their local election authority’s website.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois Lottery players got particularly lucky in September. Lotto reports Pick 3 and Pick 4 players won more than $40 million in prizes – the largest amount ever paid out to Illinois Lottery Pick players in any single month.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Vermilion County reported 2 new deaths Monday. According to the Vermilion County Public Health Department says both are men in their 80s. That brings their total to 14.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Voters go to the polls today to cast their ballots for the next President and Vice President of the United States as well as a possible constitutional amendment. Vermilion County Clerk Cathy Jenkins talks about the races in her county…

 

 

Vermilion County Clerk Cathy Jenkins. Iroquois County voters will have a variety of positions to vote for in this year’s election. County Clerk Breein Suver has the list of local races…

 

 

Iroquois County Clerk Breein Suver. In addition, voters across the state will also be considering a possible change to the state’s constitution when it comes to taxes. Polls close tonight at 7.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- New details are coming out on the kidnapping scheme busted in Urbana Friday evening. Police say the victim was taken from his family 14 years ago. In court proceedings Monday, prosecutors accused 27 year old Felipe De Jesus Guevara Sanchez of demanding the victims parents pay thousands of dollars in ransom money to bring their son back from Mexico. A meeting to exchange the 25 year old victim was to take place Friday evening at a gas station in Urbana. Police arrested Guevara Sanchez at the gas station. 6 others were in the vehicle at the time. Police believe they too were kidnapping victims. Guevara Sanchez remains in the Champaign County Jail.

 

 

(Cissna Park-jm) -- The Cissna Park FFA Chapter is getting some new equipment thanks to a donation. The chapter received the donation from the family of Harold Froehling. The chapter used the money to purchase new auto-darkening welding helmets and safety glasses. Froehling was the 1st President of the Cissna Park FFA Chapter and was inducted into the Cissna Park FFA Chapters Hall of Fame in 2017.

 

 

(Champaign-cf)--  The Champaign County Forest preserve has a referendum on this years ballot in this years primary election that constituents can vote to increase the tax levy to  five dollars and thirty three cents for every one-hundred thousand dollars of assessed value. There has been a lot of backing from various county entities says Sarah Livesay Vice President of the Champaign County Forest Preserve…. 

 

 

Sarah Livesay Vice President of the Champaign County Forest Preserve.

 

(Pesotum-jm) -- District 10 Illinois State Police in Pesotum have announced roadside safety checks in Champaign County during the month of November. Troopers will be watching for those driving under the influence, safety belt and child restraint use, speeding and distracted driving.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Parkland College is announcing enrollment for Spring 2021 is underway. Classes are set to begin January 16th.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Corn and soybean harvesting continues ahead of the five year average. 89 percent of corn has been harvested, compared to 83 percent normally, and 93 percent of soybeans are now out of the ground. State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener looks at winter wheat…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. Average statewide topsoil moisture increased to three percent very short, 18 percent short, 68 percent adequate and 11 percent surplus.

 

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Nearly 3 million ballots had already been cast in the general election

(Springfield-jm) -- As Election Day draws nearer, the number of early voters is shattering records. Nearly 3 million ballots had already been cast in the general election, far more than in any previous election in Illinois, according to the State Board of Elections. That includes mail-in ballots as well as votes cast in person at advance voting locations. The biggest issue on the ballot that could be affected by late-arriving ballots is the proposed constitutional amendment to allow for a graduated income tax. The measure requires approval by 60% of the people who vote on the amendment or a simple majority of all the ballots cast in the election. Officials won’t be able to determine how many ballots were cast until the cutoff date of November 17th. Under Illinois law, mail-in ballots that are postmarked by Election Day can still be counted as long as they are received by election officials within 14 days after the election.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker says at this time, another stay at home order is not in the works. As 10 out of 11 regions are placed under increased safety measures, some are wondering if the state will just move back to phase three. The Governor responds…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Most regions have Tier One mitigations, although Region 1, the Rockford and Northwestern Illinois area, is at Tier Two with even stricter restrictions. The only region without any enhanced mitigations is Region Two, the Peoria, Bloomington and Galesburg area although those communities will join the rest of the state Wednesday.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois set a new daily record high number of Coronavirus cases Saturday. The Illinois Department of Public Health reported almost 7,900 new cases Saturday. Sunday the state reported just under 7,000 cases. Illinois now has 417,280 cases and 9,792 deaths.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Region 6, which includes Ford, Iroquois, Champaign and Vermilion Counties will undergo enhanced mitigations starting today. According to the Illinois Department of Public Health the region has seen a positivity rate of over 8 percent for 3 consecutive days. The new mitigations include the closure of indoor dining at bars and restaurants, outdoor dining closes at 11pm and gatherings of no more than 25 people.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Repainting of the clock tower at Paxton’s City Hall has been delayed. Mayor Bill Ingold says the two bids for the project were far apart and the council rejected both of them…

 

 

Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold.

 

 

(Minnesota-jm) -- Michael Hari’s trial is expected to begin today in Minnesota. Hari, a Clarence native, is being charged with several federal charges in connection to the firebombing of a suburban Minneapolis mosque in 2017. Two others have already pleaded guilty for their involvement in the crime. Hari also faces charges in Illinois including the attempted attack on an abortion clinic in Champaign. His trial in Minnesota is expected to last about three weeks.

 

 

(Gilman-jm) -- A Gilman man is behind bars on child sex crime charges. 76 year old Edward Dill was arrested Friday afternoon on charges of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child and aggravated criminal sexual abuse. Police say the allegations involve two juvenile victims.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- First Busey is reporting 3rd quarter net income of $30.8 million. Earnings for the Champaign based company were 56 cents per share which surpassed Wall Street expectations of 41 cents per share.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Restaurant owners from across Illinois say the closure orders being instituted by Governor J.B. Pritzker will devastate small businesses, leaving thousands jobless even though the state found an estimated 1 percent of COVID-19 outbreaks came from restaurants. Illinois Restaurant Association board member Kevin Vaughn tabulated all of the outbreak information from a state list acquired by NBC 5 Chicago and found 400 cases were related to restaurants in Illinois out of 40,000 cases. The list represents about 10% of all COVID-19 cases from March to September in Illinois. 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- New research suggests access to emergency paid leave could help limit the spread of the novel coronavirus. Mary Scheurmann reports…

 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois now has more than 417,000 coronavirus cases and almost 9,800  deaths following a daily record high Saturday. The state reported 7,899 new cases Saturday and 6,980 new cases Sunday. The seven day positivity rate is now 8 percent.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- County clerks around the area are announcing the enhanced mitigations that start today will not affect the elections. Among the enhanced mitigations include a reduction in the size of gatherings. County clerks say safety precautions including the use of plexiglass barriers, sanitizing of voting stations and hand sanitizer along with the use of facial coverings and social distancing will be in place.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- A miniature golf course is coming to the village of Rantoul. Administrator Scott Eisenhower talks about the attraction…

 

 

Rantoul Village Administrator Scott Eisenhower.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- A New York man is in the Champaign County jail for allegedly being involved in a kidnapping scheme. Police say 27 year old Felipe De Jesus Guevara Sanchez is charged with aggravated kidnapping and forcible detention. Guevara Sanchez is alleged to have demanded that the parents of their adult son pay a ransom for his release. Police learned a meeting to exchange custody was going to take place Friday afternoon at a gas station on Cunningham Avenue in Urbana. Several people were present in the vehicle upon its arrival, including Guevara Sanchez and the victim. Police are working to determine the involvement of the others.

 

 

(Champaign County-jm) -- Champaign County’s Clerk and Republican leaders were in court Friday afternoon. County Republicans accused Clerk Aaron Ammons of breaking election code. A Champaign County Judge dismissed 5 of the 7 counts against Ammons however ruled Ammons must provide a list of Republican workers to the party chairman and that he must provide adequate access to the list of absentee ballots and where they were being mailed.

 

(Watseka-jm) -- The November 3rd election will look a little different due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Iroquois County Clerk Breein Suver talks about some of the changes Iroquois County voters could see if they decide to go vote in person…

 

 

Iroquois County Clerk Breein Suver.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Parkland College is announcing a new tuition-assistance program which aims to expand access to Dual Enrollment classes for low-income, underrepresented, and/or first-generation high school students within their district. The program will provide eligible students up to $2,500 in assistance for tuition, fees, and books/technology in an award package determined by the student’s program of choice. The money comes from the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund. Applications for the GEER Up program are due December 11th and can be submitted online at parkland dot edu slash geer up.

 

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Daylight Saving Time ends this weekend and we will regain that hour of sleep we lost back in March

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois reported 7,800 more people filed for initial unemployment claims last week than the week before, continuing week-after-week of increases for the Land of Lincoln. The U.S. Department of Labor reported 54,800 new filers in Illinois last week. The week before there were 46,900 new filers. The state’s unemployment system has been plagued with debt, backlogged callbacks and fraud.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Daylight Saving Time ends this weekend and we will regain that hour of sleep we lost back in March. Daylight saving time ends Sunday at 2 a.m. this means you'll need to turn your clocks back by one hour. It’s also a good time to change the batteries in your smoke alarm.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Beginning Sunday, the extension on license plate stickers ends. Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White sent out that reminder. The extension was implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic stay-at-home order. But license plate stickers can be renewed online at CyberDriveIllinois.com. The extension for driver’s licenses and ID cards remains until February 1, 2021.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- As new cases hit another daily high, state officials and doctors are stressing the seriousness of the current COVID-19 problem in Illinois. The number of new cases in Illinois has grown by 151 percent since October 1st, and hospitalizations have increased 73 percent. University of Chicago Medicine Infectious Disease Specialist Dr Emily Landon says the trends are especially concerning as winter approaches and the air becomes drier...

 

 

 

University of Chicago Medicine Infectious Disease Specialist Dr Emily Landon. The latest daily tally is more than 63 hundred cases, a new record. But testing is also up with over 83 thousand specimens run in the past 24 hours. Locally, McLean County reported 19 new cases and 1 additional death bringing their total cases to 4,270 and deaths to 37. Champaign County reported 75 new cases bringing their total to 6,251. Ford County reported no new cases however they did report one additional death bringing their total to 15.  Livingston County reported 27 new cases and one additional death bringing their total cases to 756 and deaths to 11. Kankakee County reported 151 new cases and 1 additional death bringing their total number of cases to 3,646 and deaths to 77. Vermilion County reported 33 new cases bringing their total to 1,617. Iroquois County reported 16 new cases bringing their total to 585.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The City of Paxton heard results from their recent audit. Mayor Bill Ingold shares the results of that audit…

 

 

Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- A Rantoul man has been charged with having a loaded gun. 19 year old Tre White was arrested after police stopped an SUV for a traffic violation. While the officers were talking to the driver, White slid into the driver seat and attempted to leave. Officers got White out of the vehicle and found a loaded gun in his waistband, an ounce of cannabis and a bag containing a white powder. White was charged with armed violence. If convicted he faces 15 to 30 years in prison.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- The Champaign County Republican Central Committee has filed a lawsuit against Champaign County Clerk Aaron Ammons. The suit alleges Ammons of breaking election code and calls for poll watchers to come for the general election. Ammons responded by saying Republicans are attempting to suppress voters and implementing tactics from Donald Trump’s playbook.

 

 

(Champaign-cf)-- Champaign County voters will see a few additional pieces on the ballot in this year's general election. There will be a referendum on this year's ballot to increase the levy for the Champaign County Forest Preserve. The estimated cost is $5.33 per $100,000 of assessed value. The maintenance cost on all of the preserves in Champaign County is roughly three point seven million per year. Champaign County Forest Preserve President Andrew Kerins details where a majority of the levy will go if the referendum passes… 

 

 

Champaign County Forest Preserve President Andrew Kerins. 

 

 

(Loda-jm) -- The village of Loda could award a bid for the construction of a new water tower next month. Bids are due on November 10th and the village board could award the contract at their meeting November 11th.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- China's pork purchases continue strong. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

The Rantoul Recreation Department along with the Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a Drive Thru Trick or Treating at the Rantoul Recreation Building from 6 to 8 pm tonight.

 

The Community Service Center of Northern Champaign County will hold a special food distribution on Saturday from 9 to 10:30 am.

 

Paxton IGA will be hosting a cookout benefiting the Gilman Garage Community Center on Saturday from 10-2.

 

Saturday is Halloween and here is some trick or treat hours for towns around the area...Paxton 5-8, Gilman 5-7, Buckley 4-6 at Buckley Lake, Rantoul 5-8, Loda 5-8, Hoopeston 5:30-7, Cissna Park 4-7 and Onarga 5-7. St. Joseph 6-8, Mahomet 6-8, Piper City 4-7, Gibson City 5-8, Melvin 5-7, Roberts 5-7, Elliott 5-8 and Thawville 3-6.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- A spokesperson for the Illinois National Guard declined to speculate on what role it would play in post-election security, but if the Guard does play a role, it would be “in support of and subordinate to civilian law enforcement.” Lt. Col Brad Leighton said earlier this year the guard helped protect infrastructure, guide traffic and acted as extra eyes and ears for local law enforcement, but he said it’s important to note the guard does not arrest people or investigate crimes.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- More than $90 million in emergency relief funding will be given to communities and small businesses across Illinois. Over 1,200 small businesses will receive more than $46 million of the funding while 163 local governments will get more than $48 million. The money through the historic Business Interruption Grants program will be given to regions that are currently under resurgence mitigations.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Of the state’s 1.9 million public school students, the Illinois State Board of Education reported the vast majority, or nearly 1.2 million, are remote only. Around 600,000 are in a blended model. Fewer than 200,000 have in-person learning. Fully remote learning is primarily in urban and suburban areas of Cook County and the Metro East St. Louis area.

 

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- If you’re looking for something to do with the kids, the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce may have something for you. The chamber is putting on a scarecrow contest. Participating businesses pay $75 for a scarecrow scavenger hunt. Marketing Director Lindsay Quick says they have maps available for your adventure…

 

 

Champaign County Chamber of Commerce Marketing Director Lindsay Quick.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- CU at Home has announced details for their One Winter Night event. The event shines light on homelessness. It will take place on February 5th from 6pm to 6 am.

 

 

(Ashkum-jm) -- District 21 Illinois State Police in Ashkum will be conducting Alcohol Countermeasure Enforcement Patrols this weekend. WPXN’s Jason Madden has the details…

 

 

 

(Watseka-jm) -- The Iroquois County Public Health Department is warning of the dangers of lead poisoning during Lead Poisoning Prevention Week. The week raises awareness of the dangers associated with lead exposure and poisoning. Lead can be found inside and outside of homes. According to the CDC, 500,000 children ages 1-5 have blood lead levels greater than or equal to the blood reference level. Lead Poisoning Prevention Week runs through Saturday.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Soaring pork exports are helping keep U.S. producers in business. Gary Crawford has the details…

 

 

Christ Lutheran High School in Buckley will host a drive thru pork burger lunch on Saturday from 11 to 1.

 

A drive thru trick or treat will take place on Saturday from 2-4 pm at the Champaign County Fairgrounds in Urbana.

 

Buckley will host a trunk or treat on Saturday from 4 to 6 pm at Buckley Lake.

 

Sheldon will host a Trunk or Treat on Saturday from 4-6 pm at the Sheldon Administrative Center.

 

Saturday is Halloween and here is some trick or treat hours for towns around the area...St. Joseph 6-8, Mahomet 6-8, Piper City 4-7, Gibson City 5-8, Melvin 5-7, Roberts 5-7, Elliott 5-8 and Thawville 3-6.

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Despite new rules from the state, the Illinois High School Association says the basketball season can begin

(Springfield-jm) -- Despite new rules from the state, the Illinois High School Association says the basketball season can begin. On Tuesday, Governor J-B Pritzker said basketball is being moved to the “high-risk” category for COVID transmission and that for now, only non-contact practices can be held. But now, the IHSA is voting to allow games as well. The Governor responded…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. The IHSA says they are implementing safety measures that would keep kids safe such as requiring players and coaches to wear masks. It will be up to districts to decide what to do. The board also voted to move wrestling to the spring and summer months.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois consumers are now getting a first look at the Affordable Care Act insurance rates for the upcoming year. Three new insurance carriers will be a part of the Illinois Exchange 2021 Plan Year, bringing the total number of carriers to eight. The Illinois Department of Insurance says most Illinoisans will again see a decrease in premiums this year and rating areas remain the same. Open Enrollment for the Health Insurance Marketplace starts on November 1 and will continue through December 15, 2020.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White is reminding the public that expirations for license plate stickers are set to end November 1st. License plate stickers can easily be renewed online at www.cyberdriveillinois.com. Driver’s licenses and ID cards remain extended until February 1, 2021. Since June 1st, more than 1.5 million people have renewed their license plate stickers online.

 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- While other states were searching the internet for the term “Deep State,” Illinoisans were searching for “JB Pritzker Corruption.” Researchers with the website NotFreeAmerica.com reviewed Google search data for government distrust searches and found Illinois was one of several states that appear to show a high level of distrust of elected officials of the dominating political party in the state.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- State and local police are increasing patrols for the Halloween weekend. More cops will be out on the roads from now through early Monday morning, looking for speeders, distracted drivers, and especially those who should not be behind the wheel says Illinois Department of Transportation Spokesperson Paul Wappel…

 

 

IDOT Spokesperson Paul Wappel. Wappel says you can use a cab or ride sharing service. He stresses the key is to plan how you will get home ahead of time.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 6,110 new Coronavirus cases Wednesday and 51 additional deaths bringing the state’s total number of cases to 389,095 and deaths to 9,619. The state’s seven day positivity rate jumped to 6.7 percent. Locally, McLean County reported 39 new cases bringing their total to 4,251. Champaign County reported 189 new cases bringing their total to 6,176. Livingston County reported 27 new cases bringing their total to 729. Iroquois County reported 12 new cases bringing their total to 569. Vermilion County reported 25 new cases bringing their total to 1,584. Ford County reported no new cases. Kankakee County reported a system glitch and was unable to provide an update.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois' Region 6 reported a COVID-19 positivity rate that exceeds 8%. Region 6 includes Champaign, Ford, Iroquois and Vermilion Counties among several others. If Region 6 has a positivity rate above 8% for the next two days, it will roll backwards and face new restrictions. Those restrictions are likely to include the closure of indoor dining and bars, and a curfew on those establishments, as well.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Paxton firefighters were called to an electrical fire Wednesday evening. Firefighters were called to the 300 block of E. Pine just before 8 pm. No injuries were reported.

 

 

(Urbana-cf)-- Halloween Parties might be out of the question this year as we continue to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. However trick or treating this year is not out of the equation, says Champaign-Urbana Public Health District Administrator Julie Pryde… 

 

 

Champaign-Urbana Public Health District Administrator Julie Pryde.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Ford County Public Health Department is offering Medicare Open Enrollment Assistance. Open enrollment allows those in the program to compare prescription drug plans. Open enrollment ends December 7th. More information is available by calling the Ford County Public Health Department at 379-9281.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Surveys indicate a lot less trick-or-treating this year will lead to slumping candy sales. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

Parkland College in Champaign will host an Applied Technologies academic showcase webinar today from 12-1. The link to attend is available on their website parkland dot edu slash visit us.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois State Police is visiting businesses violating COVID-19 safety restrictions. State Police Director Brendan Kelly says they have a multi-pronged approach to enforcement, first issuing a verbal warning for non-compliance, then a written warning. For the most flagrant offenders, troopers will issue a misdemeanor citation…

 

 

Illinois State Police Director Brendan Kelly. Kelly says they have issued citations in five Illinois counties so far, but that for the most part, businesses are complying after getting a warning. 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- More than 124,000 hours of overtime, equaling more than $6.4 million. That is what has been dished out to employees of the Illinois Department of Employment Security because of the increased need for their services. From January to September of this year, I-D-E-S employees logged 124,359.25 hours of overtime, equating to compensation of $6,422,267.28.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- More than $116 million is going towards water infrastructure in Illinois. The funding will support projects across the state of Illinois to keep drinking water safe, improve water quality, and reduce lead exposure. 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Because of the COVID-19 pandemic circuit courts in Illinois can now conduct jury selection in civil cases by video conference. Nearly eight months into the pandemic, the Illinois Supreme Court issued the order following a task force recommendation. Civil trials have largely been on hold. Another order allows for remote service in protective orders if certain conditions are met.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- House Republicans fear the latest restrictions on indoor dining and bar services in several areas of the state will leave businesses in ruins. With the addition of region nine, Lake and McHenry Counties, eight of the state’s 11 regions will now be under the stricter rules. House GOP Leader Jim Durkin says this is killing the economy…

 

 

House GOP Leader Jim Durkin. Bar and restaurant owners say they have been taking precautions such as social distancing, wearing masks and sanitizing frequently. They question assertions that their businesses are home to a good deal of COVID transmissions.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois reported another 61 hundred Coronavirus cases and 51 additional deaths Wednesday bringing the state’s total number of cases to just over 389 thousand and deaths to just over 96 hundred. The state’s positivity rate jumped to 6.7 percent. As for local active and recovered cases, McLean County reported 3,811 have recovered, 393 are in isolation and 11 are hospitalized. Champaign County reported 5,711 have recovered, 437 are in isolation and 6 are hospitalized. Livingston County reported 607 have been removed from isolation, 112 cases are active and 3 are hospitalized. Iroquois County reported 480 have been released from isolation, 62 remain in isolation and 7 are hospitalized. Vermilion County reported 1,383 have been released from isolation, 170 remain in isolation and 18 are hospitalized. Ford County reported 217 have been released, 40 are in isolation and 1 is hospitalized.

 

(McLean County-jm) -- McLean County reported two additional deaths Wednesday. The McLean County Public Health Department says both deaths are associated to an outbreak at a long term care facility. Their death toll now stands at 36.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Many communities are preparing for a loss in revenue because of the Coronavirus pandemic. One of those communities is Gibson City. They are holding off on a water tower project says Mayor Dan Dickey…

 

 

Gibson City Mayor Dan Dickey.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- The University of Illinois Office of Student Affairs sent a letter warning students of potential consequences if they break COVID-19 restrictions over the course of the Halloween weekend. The office is encouraging students to practice social distancing and mask-wearing while limiting group events.

 

 

(Ashkum-jm) -- Illinois State Police in Ashkum have already conducted one Occupant Restraint Enforcement Patrol this month. As WPXN’s Jason Madden reports, they are gearing up for a second one…

 

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- 52nd District State Senator Scott Bennett of Champaign is encouraging internet providers and co-ops to apply for the 2nd round of broadband funding. The state is announcing $50 million in funding to expand broadband internet access across the state. Up to $5 million will be given for each project.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- If trick or treating is allowed in your community, here are some tips for being a safe and considerate treat giver. Gary Crawford has the details…

 

 

 

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High school basketball will likely not happen this winter

(Springfield-jm) -- High school basketball will likely not happen this winter after Governor J-B Pritzker announced it was too high risk to play during the Coronavirus pandemic. The Governor released guidelines for all winter sports. Besides basketball, wrestling and hockey are still considered high risk. Cheer and dance are considered lower risk as long as masks and distancing are enforced. Low risk sports like bowling, gymnastics, swimming and diving will be permitted to play during winter. The IHSA is set to announce winter sports plans today. 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois has expanded the number of children allowed in some day care facilities. The updated capacity will allow more children to return to daycare as their parents return to work. This update also increases the staff to child ratio, allowing two to five more children per teacher. Home daycares are still waiting for their restrictions to be loosened.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting four thousand new COVID-19 cases Tuesday. That brings the total number of cases to nearly 383 thousand in Illinois, with more than 95 hundred lives lost so far. Over half of the state’s regions are under stricter mitigations like no indoor dining because of rising test positivity rates. Governor J-B Pritzker was asked if he would consider allowing restaurants in these areas to remain open inside as the weather gets colder…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. The Governor says the state has grant programs available to struggling businesses and says the best thing everyone can do is mask up and take other safety precautions so numbers come down and the extra rules can be lifted. McLean County reported 42 new cases, Champaign County 6 new cases, Vermilion County 52 new cases, Livingston County 22 new cases, Iroquois County 7 new cases, Kankakee County 34 new cases and Ford County no new cases.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Harvest is underway around the WPXN listening area. Many Champaign County farmers are done harvesting soybeans and are working on corn. Champaign County Farm Bureau Manager Brad Uken talks about the yield estimates he is hearing…

 

 

Champaign County Farm Bureau Manager Brad Uken. 

 

 

(Vermilion County-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Revenue has announced Vermilion Counties tax multiplier will be the same as last year. The tentative property assessment equalization factor is 1.000. Property tax rates are 33.47 percent of market value based on property sales between 2016 and 2019.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- OSF Heart of Mary Medical Center in Urbana has a new orthopedic surgeon. The hospital announced the addition of Dr. James Kohlmann.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Market Street in downtown Paxton is getting  a temporary upgrade. Mayor Bill Ingold says the road is in bad shape but the upgrade will help take care of the issue until the streetscape project can be done…

 

 

Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold.

Work on that project continues today.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- A Paxton man faces up to 7 years in prison when he is sentenced in December for the brutal beating of another Paxton man. It took a jury 30 minutes to find Clayton Marcum guilty of aggravated domestic battery. Police say Marcum beat a man so bad in September of 2019 he will never be able to live on his own.

 

 

(Hoopeston-jm) -- Hoopeston firefighters are investigating a house fire Tuesday morning. The fire happened in the 500 block of S. 5th Street just after 6 am. No injuries were reported.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- What's the weather like for corn and soybean harvesting activities? Stephanie Ho reports…

 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan gave a state political party he controls $3.5 million. It came from the Chicago Democrat’s uncontested political campaign that had seen donations, worth hundreds of thousands of dollars at a time, reported just days prior. Once in the hands of the political committee, those millions would be funneled to competitive state Democratic races in amounts far exceeding what those candidates could accept from their neighbors and it’s entirely legal. An Illinois candidate can receive a maximum of $5,800 from an individual, $11,600 from a corporation, labor organization, and $57,800 from a candidate political committee or political action committee. Illinois has a mechanism that unlocks unlimited spending to a candidate once the candidate or an independent group either donates or loans the politician’s committee more than $250,000 or $100,000 for non-statewide candidates.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Governor JB Pritzker joined the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, the Illinois Community College Board and industry leaders in announcing a first-of-its-kind program to expand manufacturing training opportunities for Illinois residents. Through a $15 million Notice of Funding Opportunity, Illinois will establish two new innovative Manufacturing Trainings Academies that will expand opportunities for skills training, boost retention of manufacturers in downstate communities, and attract more investment by manufacturing companies throughout Illinois. 

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Rantoul village leaders approved some infrastructure improvements near the new sports complex on the village's west side. Administrator Scott Eisenhower talks about the improvements…

 

 

Rantoul Village Administrator Scott Eisenhower.

 

 

(Hoopeston-jm) -- The City of Hoopeston is looking to fill two vacancies on the city council. Chad Yaden resigned October 18th and Alex Houmes resigned in early September. Those interested in filling the positions can reach out to Mayor Bill Cruisinberry by email at bill cruisinberry at city of hoopeston dot com.

 

 

(Danville-jm) -- East Central Illinois Community Action Agency will be hosting a drive thru health fair next week. The health fair will take place on Friday, November 6th from 1-4 at their Danville location, 56 N. Vermilion Street.

 

 

(Gilman-cf)-- Moisture levels are in corn and soybeans are key when it comes to harvest season for farmers in the area. What exactly is the optimal moisture level for the grain that is harvested to be taken to the elevator? Ford Iroquois Farm Bureau Manager David Treece has the answer… 

 

 

Ford Iroquois Farm Bureau Manager David Treece.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Paxton police have released their recent activity report. On October 26th, Max Jones, who was reported as being homeless, was arrested for possession of meth and possession of drug paraphernalia in the parking lot of the south Caseys. On October 25th, Tredarin Crumbly of Chicago fell asleep and struck a utility pole at the intersection of Taft and Ottawa, no tickets were issued or injuries reported in that incident. Also on October 25th, Hayley Wells of Paxton was arrested for domestic battery and Stephen Callan of the United Kingdom was arrested for aggravated battery for a fight at the Cobblestone Inn bar. On October 24th, Jean Rodriguez-Chevalier of Rantoul was arrested for driving with no valid license and illegal possession of adult use cannabis and cited for expired registration and squealing tires following a traffic stop at Pells and Market. Also on October 24th, Jacob Hill-Campbell of Paxton was arrested for driving on a suspended license and ticketed for improper use of registration and operating an uninsured motor vehicle following a traffic stop at Market and Patton. On October 23rd, James Gillen of Danville was arrested on a Champaign County warrant.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- A Dewey man faces up to 30 years in prison for possessing drugs. Shane Burdette was arrested and charged with possession with intent to deliver cocaine after officers searched his home and found 40 grams of cocaine and $3,100. He faces a mandatory sentence of 6 to 30 years if convicted.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Despite restrictions on treat-or-treating this year, millions of us are still carving weird faces in pumpkins , lighting them from within and putting them outside. Why? What started this practice? Here's one possible origin. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

 

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The state finally saw some rain last week, slowing harvest progress a bit

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois State Board of Education will release the 2020 Illinois Report Card Friday, but there could be some holes in the data with the stay-at-home order last spring closing schools to in-person instruction. The yearly report cards provide district-level data on a variety of things. ISBE said absenteeism data could be affected. The board also announced it didn’t collect any data on assessments.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- At 11th highest, Illinois’ mortgage delinquency rate is among the highest in the nation, according to ConstructionCoverage.com, and that was before the pandemic. Researchers said Illinois is among states that will likely struggle the most once forbearances and moratoria on foreclosures expire. The report said Illinois’ average debt per household with a mortgage is $164,000, with a 1.27 percent delinquency rate. 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The number of Democrats in the Illinois House or vying for a seat in the House who don’t support House Speaker Michael Madigan continues to grow. The longtime speaker, who’s also the chairman of the Democratic Party of Illinois, has been in control of the House for all but two years since 1983. State Representative Stephanie Kifowit announced she’s running for speaker next year. Incumbent state Representative Maurice West told WIFR TV in Rockford he won’t support the speaker next year.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The state finally saw some rain last week, slowing harvest progress a bit. Rainfall was more than an inch above normal this past week, which was welcome news for pastures, winter wheat and cover crops. State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says there were about four days suitable for fieldwork…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 89 percent of winter wheat has been planted and average statewide topsoil moisture improved to seven percent very short, 17 percent short, 71 percent adequate and five percent surplus.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 4,729 new Coronavirus cases and 17 additional deaths Monday bringing the state’s total number of cases to 378,985, deaths to 9,522 and the positivity rate to 6.3 percent. Locally since Friday, Champaign County reported 75 new cases bringing their total to 5,630. McLean County reported 147 new cases and 1 additional death bringing their total to 4,170 and deaths to 34. Vermilion County reported 54 new cases bringing their total to 1,507. Kankakee County reported 114 new cases bringing their total to 3,481. Ford County reported 11 new cases and 2 additional deaths bringing their total to 272 and deaths to 14. Livingston County reported 40 new cases bringing their total to 680. Iroquois County reported 16 new cases bringing their total to 550.

 

 

(Champaign-cf)-- Champaign County voters will see a few additional pieces on the ballot in this year's general election. One of those pieces is the Champaign County Forest Preserve referendum. Champaign County Forest Preserve Vice President Sarah Livesay(LIVE-SAY) has the details… 

 

 

Champaign County Forest Preserve Vice President Sarah Livesay. 

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- A Gibson City man is facing several charges. Douglas Shadix was arrested over the weekend on charges of battery, resisting a peace officer, attempting to disarm a peace officer and threatening a public official.

 

 

(Saybrook-jm) -- The McLean County village of Saybrook will be under a boil water order tomorrow. The village says crews will be replacing a hydrant valve which will necessitate the order. The order will affect all residents on or north of Walnut Street between North State and North Jefferson Streets.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Some FOID card owners have not received their new card. That’s because there is a backlog processing the orders. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City says he reached out to the Governor’s office to get answers…

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Congressman John Shimkus is accepting applications for military service academy nominations. To be eligible: applicants must be American citizens at least 17 but not more than 23 years of age, not married or have legal obligations of child support and must live within the 15th Congressional District. Applications are due by this Friday and can be obtained by calling his office at 618-288-7190.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- The Champaign County Chamber of Commerce is offering a free webinar. The free webinar allows business owners to ask questions about the Business Interruption Grant application process. The webinar is set for tomorrow from 1 to 2:30 pm. You must register in advance to get the webinar link.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- The U.S. Trade Representative and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture has issued a report outlining the progress under the Phase One Trade Agreement with China. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Of $5.5 billion in federal funds, the state of Illinois spent $1.6 billion through Oct. 1 on a variety of things to deal with COVID-19. A report from the Chicago Tribune and ProPublica found the spending ranged from millions for personal protective equipment, millions to rent hotels, hundreds of thousands of dollars on custom face coverings and even tens of thousands of dollars for non-lethal grenades. 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Despite prohibiting indoor service at bars and restaurants in regions across the state, and raising alarm about increasing COVID-19 positivity rates, Governor J.B. Pritzker said the polls will be open November 3rd. The governor was asked for that reassurance last week. During the Primary in March when the pandemic began, Pritzker said repeatedly elections are a “pillar of democracy” and that he couldn’t stop them even if he wanted to.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Republican incumbent and Democratic challenger for a statehouse seat in McHenry County agree the governor’s COVID-19 mitigation efforts are too extreme. State Representative Steven Reick said there needs to be a reset of the efforts and for the legislature to get involved. Woodstock Mayor Brian Sager said he’d also like to see more collaboration. McHenry County is tethering on more mitigation orders from the governor.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The state finally saw some rain last week, slowing harvest progress a bit. 80 percent of corn and 90 percent of soybeans have now been harvested, ahead of the five year average says State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 68 percent of the winter wheat crop is rated in good to excellent condition. Average statewide topsoil moisture increased to seven percent very short, 17 percent short, 71 percent adequate and five percent surplus.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois now has almost 379,000 Coronavirus cases and over 9500 deaths. Ford County reported 2 new deaths and McLean County reported 1 additional death. As for local active and recovered cases, Champaign County reported 5,630 have recovered, 323 are in isolation with 7 hospitalized. McLean County reported 3,764 have recovered, 361 cases are active and 11 are hospitalized. Vermilion County reported 1,318 have been released from isolation, 163 are in isolation and 14 hospitalized. Kankakee County reported 2,829 have recovered, 576 cases are active with 31 hospitalized. Ford County reported 217 have been released from isolation, 40 remain in isolation and 1 is hospitalized. Livingston County reported 586 have been removed from isolation, 84 cases are active and 3 are hospitalized. Iroquois County reported 467 have been released from isolation, 58 are in isolation and 5 are hospitalized.

 

(Urbana-cf)-- The symptoms of the flu and COVID-19 are very similar, but different at the same time. Champaign-Urbana Public Health District Administrator Julie Pryde has the procedure you should follow if you are showing symptoms of either… 

 

 

Champaign-Urbana Public Health District Administrator Julie Pryde.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- A popular Champaign business is closing at the end of the week. The owners of Dallas and Company announced they will be closing after Halloween. The owners cited the pandemic, increased property values and their desire to retire as reasons behind the closure.

 

 

(Minnesota-jm) -- A Ford County man is scheduled to stand trial in federal court next week for his alleged involvement in the firebombing of a mosque in Minnesota. Michael Hari is charged in the District of Minnesota with several felonies in connection with the August 2017 bombing of the Dar al-Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington, Minnesota Prosecutors allege that Hari and two other Clarence men traveled from Illinois to Minnesota in a rented truck and then bombed the mosque using a pipe bomb. Hari is also charged in the Central District of Illinois in connection with the attempted firebombing of the Women’s Health Practice in Champaign in November 2017, along with the December 2017 armed robbery of a Walmart store in Watseka, the December 2017 attempted armed robbery of a Walmart in Mount Vernon, the December 2017 armed robbery of a residence in Ambia, Ind., the January 2018 attempted extortion of the Canadian National Railroad, and the February 2018 planting of explosives on a neighbor’s property in Clarence. Hari’s Illinois trial is scheduled for March 22, 2021 at the federal courthouse in Urbana.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- The Coronavirus pandemic is affecting a major project in an area community. Because of the pandemic, Gibson City is holding off on their water tower project says Mayor Dan Dickey…

 

 

Gibson City Mayor Dan Dickey.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- 52nd District State Senator Scott Bennett is teaming up with Walgreens to provide flu clinics in the area. The first one will take place today in the parking lot of Illinois Terminal in Champaign. The next one will be Thursday at the Danville Public Library. The last one will take place on Thursday, November 12th at the Hap Parker Aquatic Center in Rantoul. The flu clinics run from 3-6 pm.

 

(Ashkum-jm) -- District 21 Illinois State Police in Ashkum have released results of a pair of recent enforcement patrols. During Roadside Safety Checks, 2 people were cited for DUI, 2 were cited for drug or alcohol related offenses, 1 was cited for an occupant restraint violation, 6 were cited for driver's license offenses and 5 were cited for insurance violations. During Nighttime Enforcement Patrols, 1 person was cited for a drug or alcohol related offense, 1 was cited for an occupant restraint violation, 1 for a registration offense, 6 for driver’s license offenses and 2 for insurance violations.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Are cattle producers holding back more heifers for future herd expansion? Gary Crawford has the details…

 

 

 

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Applying for a Firearm Owner Identification Card or Concealed Carry License online could include an extra hurdle

(Springfield-jm) -- Applying for a Firearm Owner Identification Card or Concealed Carry License online could include an extra hurdle. The Illinois State Rifle Association said they noticed last week the online portal for FOID, Conceal Carry License and firearms instructors now requires a cell phone number or an email address. Illinois State Rifle Association said that could negatively affect hundreds of thousands of people who are “technologically challenged” or those who don’t have computers or cell phones.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The COVID-19 pandemic has slashed state tax revenues from legalized gambling. Revenues are down more than $200 million – or 13.4% – for fiscal 2020. The Illinois Lottery is the largest source of Illinois gambling revenues. The pandemic has depressed lottery ticket sales by $172.5 million. Early estimates indicate that in the 2019-2020 fiscal year, lottery ticket sales in Illinois were down by 5.8%.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The state is launching an effort to get more taxpayers to take advantage of the earned income tax credit. The initiative targets over 22 thousand Illinoisans who qualify for, but did not claim the credit says Illinois Department of Revenue Spokesperson Sam Salustro…

 

 

Illinois Department of Revenue Spokesperson Sam Salustro. Salustro says most households are eligible for both the federal and state earned income tax credit if they earn less than 56 thousand dollars. Families can receive up to 65 hundred for the federal credit and 11 hundred for the Illinois credit.


 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois’ unemployment rate remains higher than the national average. The state’s rate for September was 9.8 percent, the highest monthly rate since 2011. Illinois’ rate is more than 2 points higher than the national average of 7.7 percent. Locally, the unemployment rate in Champaign County went from 3.3 percent in 2019 to 6.2 percent last month. Ford Counties rose from 3.6 percent to 5.4 percent. Vermilion County rose from 4.7 percent to 8.4 percent. Iroquois Counties rose from 3.6 percent to 5.4 percent.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- The Rantoul police department is updating their fleet. Village Administrator Scott Eisenhower says the city purchased two new vehicles…

 

 

Rantoul Village Administrator Scott Eisenhower.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- A Paxton church held a dedication yesterday for the renovation of their bell tower. The First United Methodist Church started renovations in May and wrapped them up last month. The bell tower was constructed in 1902.

 

 

(Gilman-jm) -- ERH has announced they will be flushing hydrants in Gilman starting today.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- A complaint has been filed with the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights against the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. It also alleges that UIUC has allowed a hostile environment for Jewish students on its campus, in violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. According to the complaint, there has been an increase in anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism at the university over the past five years.

 

 

(Urbana-cf)-- Halloween is right around the corner and that means that kids and their families will be out trick-or-treating. However, due to the pandemic Halloween parties are very discouraged this year due to COVID-19 outbreaks happening at parties. Champaign-Urbana Public Health District Administrator Julie Pryde has the details on Halloween guidance for Champaign County this year… 

 

 

Champaign-Urbana Public Health District Administrator Julie Pryde. Pryde also says that it is ok to trick or treat this year, but be sure to wear a mask. 

 

 

(Roberts-jm) -- The state will be bringing their mobile COVID testing to Ford County this week. The Ford County Public Health Department announced the testing will take place on Thursday from 9 to 4 at the Roberts Gym.

 

 

(Champaign County-jm) -- The amount of gun violence cases in Champaign county are spiking according to the county sheriff. The county has seen five shooting related incidents since mid-September. There have been a total of 15 incidents over the course of the entire year of 2020. Many of the shootings have been in the Champaign-Urbana area.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Restaurant Association says it is keeping all ideas on the table, including legal challenges, when dealing with Governor J.B. Pritzker’s COVID-19 mitigation efforts. IRA President and CEO Sam Toia said the association opposes the governor's rules, but urged its members to comply. He suggested the governor limit alcohol service at restaurants to tables only to avoid congestion at an establishment's bar or lower indoor capacity limits, rather than prohibition of indoor service.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Following the Pritzker administration’s announcement of $140 million in CARES payments to Medicaid providers, the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services is encouraging Medicaid providers to apply for the second round of funding through its HFS CARES Portal before the deadline of October 31, 2020. CARES payments can be used to offset unexpected costs incurred due to COVID-19. Examples include expenses related to providing PPE for employees or customers, deep cleaning services, payroll expenses for hazard pay, and other healthcare supplies.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Temperatures over the weekend were cooler than normal. How does the weather look for the last week of October and into the beginning of November? State Climatologist Trent Ford has the details…

 

 

State Climatologist Trent Ford.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois now has more than 374,256 Coronavirus cases after the state recorded a record number Saturday. The state reported 6,161 cases Saturday and 4,062 Sunday. The state also reported 87 total deaths over the weekend. The seven day positivity rate is 6.1 percent.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Area school districts are facing a budget crunch in part due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The Gibson City Melvin Sibley School District is facing a $1.5 million deficit however, superintendent Jeremy Darnell says it may not be as bad as they are predicting…

 

 

GCMS Schools Superintendent Jeremy Darnell.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Gibson City Melvin Sibley High School is going remote learning starting today. The district announced the plan yesterday after a large number of high school students are quarantined. The change only affects the high school and district leaders hope to resume in person instruction on November 9th.

 

 

(Hoopeston-jm) -- Hoopeston City Hall will remain closed for a little while longer. They were supposed to reopen to the public today, however, another employee tested positive for the Coronavirus last week so now city hall won’t reopen until November 9th. Employees at city hall can still be reached by phone.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- A popular pizza joint in Urbana closed its doors over the weekend. Rosati’s Pizza announced Sunday was their last day in operation. The owners cited the pandemic and restrictions as the reason for the sudden closure.

 

 

(Danville-jm) -- The Vermilion County Public Health Department will be hosting five flu clinics. The flu clinics will be this Wednesday and Thursday from 9 to noon and Friday from 2-5. Then again November 6th and 7th.

 

 

(Ashkum-jm) -- District 21 Illinois State Police have released results from their recent NITE patrol. 3 people were cited for drug and alcohol related offenses, 2 for occupant restraint offenses, 5 for drivers license offenses and 1 for insurance offenses.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- The latest Consumer Price Index shows declining prices for most foods. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

 

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Governor J-B Pritzker says the stricter COVID-19 mitigations placed on some regions of the state will be enforced

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker says the stricter COVID-19 mitigations placed on some regions of the state will be enforced. Some of the new restrictions now affecting four Illinois regions include no indoor dining or bar services, and gathering are limited to 25 people or less. The Governor says it’s important for businesses and the public to follow these rules…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Governor Pritkzer says bars and restaurants still failing to comply could lose their liquor license, which could be hard to get back if regulations aren’t being followed.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Restaurant Association says they can’t allow 20 percent of restaurants and 120,000 jobs in Illinois go away. That’s how many IRA President and CEO Sam Toia said could close for good if they aren’t allowed to have indoor service because of COVID-19. Toia supported such efforts in the spring and summer but said the science has changed and the way COVID-19 should be dealt with should too.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The tour continues for some Illinois statehouse Republicans.  Dubbed the “Restore Illinois Bus Tour,” the group of lawmakers are voicing support for President Trump and discussing political corruption in the state. The tour started Tuesday and continues into the weekend. Saturday the tour will stop in Champaign, Mattoon and Effingham. The group made a stop in Bloomington yesterday.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- COVID-19 cases continue to rise across the state, and some areas are seeing stricter safety measures put into place. The latest daily total is 49 hundred 42 new infections and 44 additional deaths. Four out of 11 state regions are under tighter mitigations as a result, with region one in northwestern Illinois now getting additional restrictions such as further limiting groups of people, especially at bars and restaurants says Governor J-B Pritzker…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Hospitalizations are also increasing, with more than 24 hundred Illinois COVID patients currently admitted. As of last night, 525 were in the ICU and 212 were on ventilators.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- As for local case numbers, McLean County reported 34 new cases bringing their total to 3,977. Champaign County reported 44 new cases bringing their total to 5,746. Livingston County reported 12 new cases bringing their total to 628. Vermilion County reported 18 new cases bringing their total to 1,390. Kankakee County reported 61 new cases bringing their total to 3,326. Iroquois County reported 5 new cases and one additional death bringing their total to 519 and deaths to 20. Ford County reported no new cases.

 

 

(Ashkum-jm) -- With one Nighttime Enforcement Patrol complete, District 21 Illinois State Police in Ashkum are gearing up for another round of patrols. WPXNs Jason Madden has those details…

 

 

 

(Thomasboro-jm) -- Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup has released the names of the two individuals killed in an accident on Route 45 between Rantoul and Thomasboro Wednesday evening. Northrup and Illinois State Police say 67 year old Steven Block of Urbana was traveling southbound in the northbound lanes when he struck a vehicle driven by 28 year old Kristina Freeman-Mann of Rantoul. Block and Freeman-Mann were pronounced deceased at the scene. A passenger in Freeman-Mann’s car was taken to the hospital with serious injuries. An autopsy is scheduled for today on Mr. Block.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- A Chicago man was found guilty in Champaign County court of predatory sexual assault of a child. A Champaign County jury found 43-year-old Caribe Jones guilty of the charge on Thursday. Jones is being held at the Champaign County Correctional Center, where he awaits sentencing on December 14th. He faces six to 60 years in prison.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Rantoul village leaders approved a loan for a business in the village. Administrator Scott Eisenhower talks about the loan and how it will help the business…

 

 

Rantoul Village Administrator Scott Eisenhower.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- A former paramedic has been convicted of sexually assaulting a patient while she was in an ambulance with him. Jeffrey Sanford Jr. of Gifford, was convicted on two counts of sexual assault for the incident and faces four to 15 years in prison. He will be sentenced December 29th.  Rantoul police are also investigating a report made that Sanford may have performed sex acts on a 93-year-old woman while she was unable to consent.

 

Paxton IGA will be hosting a cookout benefiting LIA Women’s Club on Saturday, from 10-2.

(Springfield-jm) --  Even during a time when the economy was notably strong, Illinois lost ground in ensuring children have access to health coverage. Mary Schuermann reports…

 

 

 

(Sprignfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services transitioned to a new healthcare system, YouthCare, and it's led to some controversy. In September, DCFS introduced YouthCare as a way to improve access to healthcare for children in their custody. On Thursday, the Senate Human Services Committee met for a hearing to give an update on YouthCare. Some of those that testified said some providers in the state are unaware of the new system which makes it harder for them to receive care.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Municipalities across Illinois continue to wait for COVID-19 relief funding allocated by the federal government, but state officials said they aren't withholding the funding. The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security, or Cares Act, approved this spring allotted $150 million for towns and cities in Illinois, but so far the Illinois Municipal League said only $21 million has been released by Governor J.B. Pritzker’s administration.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- COVID-19 cases continue to rise across the state, and some areas are seeing stricter safety measures put into place. Region one in Northwestern Illinois continues to have one of the highest positivity rates in the state which warrants further mitigations, says Governor J-B Pritzker. That includes a further reduction on groups and indoor activities since the virus is most easily spread via droplets from talking loudly, eating and drinking…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. The latest daily new case total is over 49 hundred. The good news is that the state is averaging about 70 thousand tests a day. To find a testing site near you, visit: coronavirus dot illinois dot gov and click on resources.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- As for local active and recovered cases, McLean County reported 3,647 have recovered, 285 are in isolation and 14 hospitalized. Champaign County reported 5,417 have recovered, 301 are in isolation and 7 hospitalized. Livingston County reported 528 have been removed from isolation, 90 cases are active and 4 hospitalized. Vermilion County reported 1,195 have been released, 175 are in isolation and 9 hospitalized. Kankakee County reported 2,709 have recovered, 542 cases are active with 28 hospitalized. Iroquois County reported 449 have been released from isolation, 45 are in isolation and 5 hospitalized. Ford County reported 208 have been released from isolation, 34 are in isolation and 6 hospitalized.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- This week’s Scott’s Tips for Success has to do with winterizing your home. Scott Allen with Paxton Hardware and Rental has these tips…

 

 

Paxton Hardware and Rentals Scott Allen. You can hear more tips for winterizing your home tomorrow morning at 7:30 with Scott’s Tips for Success.

 

 

(Mahomet-jm) -- A Mahomet man has been arrested for the hit and run death of a bicyclist. 41 year old Robert O’Malley was arrested for leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death. Police say O’Malley struck and killed one bicyclist and injured another one on Route 150 near Mahomet on October 11th before leaving the scene. 

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Costco officially opened Thursday morning in Champaign. The new store is in the former Bergner's in Market Place Mall in Champaign.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Gibson City will be purchasing a new truck next year after one of their current ones was totaled. Mayor Dan Dickey explains why the city chose that route…

 

 

Gibson City Mayor Dan Dickey.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Champaign County Area home sales continued to surge in September rising 27.44 percent over a year ago, also marking a 14-year high for September sales according to the Champaign County Association of Realtors. There were 274 home sales in Champaign County in September 2020, an increase of 27.44 percent from 215 homes sold in September 2019. The last time September sales reached that level was in 2006 when there were 275 home sales. Year-to-date home sales through September of 2020 totaled 2,335, an increase of 9.68 percent from 2,129 sales in the prior year. The median home sale price in September for Champaign County was $180,000, up 12.5 percent as compared to $159,900 in September 2019. The average number of days on the market stood at 56 days for Champaign County home sales, that is 21 days fewer than September 2019.  Inventory of homes for sale stood at 848 properties on the market. The average 30-year fixed rate mortgage for the month of September was 2.89 percent, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, down from 3.61 percent in September 2019 and down from 2.93 percent in August of 2020.

 

The American Red Cross will hold a blood drive at MarketPlace Mall in Champaign today from 11-4.

 

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The state is putting together a plan to distribute a Coronavirus vaccine once it becomes available

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker on Wednesday renewed his call for more federal aid for struggling state and local governments as well as small businesses, but talks in Washington may be stalled until after Election Day. The state of Illinois received roughly $3.5 billion in CARES Act money to pay for expenses related to its COVID-19 response. In recent days, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, has been negotiating with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on a second relief bill and President Trump has signaled his support for one. But national news outlets including the New York Times and Washington Post reported Wednesday that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, has urged the White House not to strike a deal with Democrats before Election Day.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- An Illinois Senate committee continues to discuss criminal justice reforms, such as putting an end to cash bail. Supporters of the idea say having to pay a cash bond to get out of jail until trial means too many people, especially minorities and the poor, are languishing behind bars because they can’t afford to make bail. This does more harm than good says Illinois Justice Project Director Sharone Mitchell…

 

 

Illinois Justice Project Director Sharone Mitchell. Mitchell says since 1970, there has been a 433 percent increase in pre-trial incarcerations. Opponents worry getting rid of cash bail will lead to an increase in those accused of failing to appear in court.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- A new law in Illinois set to take effect in January of 2022 will require homes to have 10-year sealed battery smoke detectors. There were 91 residential fire deaths in 2019 just in Illinois, and the Illinois Fire Safety Alliance said 70% of those deaths were in homes that did not have a working smoke detector.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The state is putting together a plan to distribute a Coronavirus vaccine once it becomes available. The goal would be to first vaccinate those most vulnerable, including health care workers, first responders and staff and residents of long term care facilities says Governor J-B Pritzker. He notes the plan is evolving since questions still remain…

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Officials say the vaccine will not be a public mandate. It will be free although providers may charge a small fee to administer it.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois recorded their 355,217th Coronavirus case and 9,345th death. Locally McLean County reported 62 new cases bringing their total to 3,943. Champaign County 41 new cases bringing their total to 5,702. Ford County reported 4 new cases and 2 additional deaths bringing their total to 260 and deaths to 12. Livingston County reported 12 new cases bringing their total to 616. Iroquois County reported 5 new cases bringing their total to 514. Vermilion County reported 37 new cases and 2 additional deaths bringing their total to 1,372 and deaths to 11. Kankakee County reported 30 new cases bringing their total to 3,265.

 

 

(Paxton-cf)-- The Paxton Emergency Response Service will be hosting three Chili Suppers in the coming weeks, the first will tonight. The ERS is also looking for volunteers, you can grab your supper, as well as a membership form to volunteer. Paxton ERS volunteer Jason Madden gives some details on what the ERS does, and what they are looking for… 

 

 

Paxton ERS Volunteer Jason Madden. The Chili Supper is 8 dollars for a meal which includes a drink and dessert, or 6 dollars for a cup of chili. The supper is dine in or carry out from 5 to 7:30 at their building at 134 W. State Street.

 

 

(Champaign County-jm) -- The Champaign-Urbana Public Health District and its COVID-19 Case Investigation and Contact Tracing program are asking residents to help with contact tracing by answering the phone when they call. Those who test positive for COVID-19 or are identified as a close contact to a positive case will receive a call from 312-777-1999 or a 217-531 phone number.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Illinois State Police are investigating a fatal crash near Rantoul Wednesday evening. The accident happened on Route 45 at 2700 north. The road was closed for several hours.

 

 

(Gilman-cf)-- Harvest season has begun in the WPXN listening area, and farmers are starting to hit the fields hard. Ford Iroquois Farm Bureau Manager David Treece gives an update on harvest season so far…. 

 

 

Ford Iroquois Farm Bureau Manager David Treece.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Parkland College is announcing a series of academic showcase webinars for future students. The first webinar is this Friday for health professionals from 1-2:30 pm. Other webinars include applied technologies on October 29th from 12-1, Arts and Sciences on November 6th from 3:30-4:30 pm, Business on November 13th from 10-11 am and computer science on November 13th from 1:30-2:30. To sign up for the webinars visit parkland dot edu slash visit us.

 

 

(Watseka-jm) -- The Iroquois County Sheriff’s Office along with the U-S Drug Enforcement Administration will be hosting an unwanted prescription drug takeback day this Saturday. The event will take place from 10 to 2 at the Iroquois County Sheriff’s Department in Watseka. They will only accept pills and patches, no liquids, needles or sharps.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- The USDA forecasts lower stocks of wheat, which also leads to higher expected prices. Stephanie Ho has the details…

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Taxing retirement income has become a political talking point in the argument over the progressive tax ballot initiative. But, a financial industry advocate warns about the hit to Illinois residents’ 401(k) plans that would stem from a different proposal. The Modern Markets Initiative, an industry group representing financial trading institutions, estimates that a financial transaction tax would cost the average Illinoisan up to $22,452.01 from their retirement fund over 40 years. The group said the tax would cost the average retirement account $144.90 per year. Taxpayers would also take a hit in the publicly-funded pensions they’re responsible for funding. Modern Markets Initiative estimates a financial transaction tax in Illinois would cost the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund, $12.20 billion over 3 decades if the tax was 50 basis points per trade.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois State Fire Marshal’s Office is encouraging the public to keep safety in mind when decorating for fall and Halloween. To ensure you have a safe Trick or Treating and fall season, Fire Marshal Spokesperson J-C Fultz recommends being careful with candles and choosing costumes that don’t have a lot of trailing fabric…

 

 

State Fire Marshal Spokesperson J-C Fultz. According to the National Fire Protection Association, an average of 770 home structure fires begin with decorations that were too close to a heat source each year across the U-S.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Municipal League is calling on the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to speed up release of federal funds intended to aid communities during the coronavirus pandemic. So far, DCEO says it has released just $21 million of the nearly $150 million in funding set aside for Illinois municipalities through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security ACT.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting the highest daily COVID-19 death toll since mid-June. 69 more people lost their battle with the Coronavirus, bringing the total number of patients who have died in Illinois to over 93 hundred. Test positivity rates and hospital admissions are rising across the state as well, says State Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike…

 

 

State Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike. Over 43 hundred new cases are being reported statewide, which is also close to a daily high for Illinois. As for local active and recovered cases, McLean County reported 3,622 have recovered, 275 are in isolation and 15 are hospitalized. Champaign County reported 5,376 recovered, 298 are in isolation and 7 hospitalized. Ford County reported 208 have been released from isolation, 34 are in isolation and 6 are hospitalized. Livingston County reported 525 have been removed from isolation, 81 cases are active with 4 hospitalized. Iroquois County reported 442 have been released from isolation, 48 were in isolation and 5 hospitalized. Vermilion County reported 1,173 have been released from isolation, 178 are in isolation and 10 hospitalized. Kankakee County reported 2,648 have recovered, 492 cases are active and 28 are hospitalized.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- The Coronavirus pandemic is having an impact on more than just city, county and state budgets. Schools are also being affected. Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley Schools Superintendent Jeremy Darnell talks about the impact it is having on their budget…

 

 

GCMS Schools Superintendent Jeremy Darnell.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- A Champaign home was destroyed by fire Wednesday evening. The fire happened in the 800 block of Healey Street just after 7pm. The house sustained significant damage.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Sheriffs' Association is warning people about a phone scam that falsely uses the name and phone numbers of the association. The Illinois Sheriffs' Association said those who offer opportunities that seem too good to be true or are looking for you to act immediately are likely scammers. They also say that if you have any doubts or are highly pressured, just hang up the phone.

 

 

(Ashkum-jm) -- District 21 Illinois State Police in Ashkum are announcing Roadside Safety Checks will be conducted in the month of October. WPXN’s Jason Madden reports…

 

 

 

(Peoria-jm) -- Peoria based OSF Healthcare is announcing a data security breach at one of their vendors. The data breach occurred at Blackbaud Inc between February 7th and May 20th. The hospital says the hackers got personal information of donors and other fundraising activities.

 

 

(Mahomet-jm) -- A new stop light has popped up in Mahomet. The stoplight is at the intersection of Lake of the Woods Road and U-S 150. It’s part of a $300,000 project that’s expected to be completed this week.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- If you plan to have an uncarved pumpkin decorating your home this Halloween, you can reuse it, creating a delicious food item or snack. Rod Bain has the details…

 

 

 

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Secretary of State Jesse White says teen driving deaths in Illinois are down by 74 percent

(Springfield-jm) -- Secretary of State Jesse White says teen driving deaths in Illinois are down by 74 percent. That decrease is since 2007, the year before the state implemented the graduated driver’s license program which placed stricter requirements on new drivers, says Secretary White…

 

 

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White. Last year in Illinois, 41 teens were killed in traffic crashes. That compares to 155 in 2007.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Some Illinois taxpayers could be paying nearly 60 percent combined federal and state marginal tax rates if Joe Biden is elected president and Illinois voters approve the graduated income tax. Former Vice President Joe Biden’s tax plan, as analyzed by the nonpartisan Tax Foundation, would take the top federal individual income tax rates from 37 percent to 49.4 percent, when including various proposals. The Tax Foundation previously reported that if Illinois adopts the state income tax change, the state’s business climate would sink to near the bottom of all states from 36th to 47th. For individuals, it reaches 57.26 percent and for pass-through businesses, it gets just under 59 percent. That’d be near three other states that could have 60 percent top rates when combining the federal and state income taxes, California would come in at 62.64 percent, Hawaii at 60.34 percent and New Jersey at 60.09 percent.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J.B. Pritzker ranked near the bottom of all state governors across the nation, according to a conservative nonprofit organization. The American Legislative Exchange Council released its first Governors ranking, the 2020 Laffer-ALEC Report on Economic Freedom. The scorecard ranked America’s 50 governors based on policy performance and executive leadership before and after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Pritzker was ranked 44th in the country.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- With the continued dryness across much of the state, the Illinois Fire Marshal’s Office says there’s still a concern about fires. The lack of rain and high winds some days has made conditions ripe for fires, with some breaking out in fields. State Fire Marshal Spokesperson JC Fultz says when it’s this dry, it doesn’t take much to start a fire. He has this warning…

 

 

State Fire Marshal Spokesperson JC Fultz. For camp and backyard fires, Fultz advises having a supply of water or fire extinguisher on hand and says you shouldn’t use a flammable liquid like gas to start your fire.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting 3,714 new Coronavirus cases and 41 additional deaths bringing the state’s total to 350,875 and deaths to 9,277. The seven day positivity rate is now at 5.5 percent. Locally, McLean County reported 23 new cases and 1 additional death bringing their total number of cases to 3,881 and deaths to 31. Champaign County reported 6 new cases bringing their total to 5,661. Kankakee County reported 27 new cases bringing their total to 3,235. Ford County reported 5 new cases bringing their total to 256. Vermilion County reported 21 new cases bringing their total to 1,335. Iroquois County reported 12 new cases bringing their total to 509. Livingston County reported 34 new cases bringing their total to 604.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- This week’s Scott’s Tips for Success has to do with winterizing your home. Scott Allen with Paxton Hardware and Rental has these tips…

 

 

Paxton Hardware and Rental Owner Scott Allen. You can hear more tips for winterizing your home Saturday morning at 7:30 with Scott’s Tips for Success.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Two people are dead and two more taken to the hospital. Police were called to the 500 block of north Sheldon. They found a 59 and 58 year old deceased. A 67 and 54 year old were taken to the hospital. Police believe it was from a suspected drug overdose.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- One person was taken to the hospital with possible life threatening injuries following an accident in Rantoul last night. Rantoul police say the accident happened on the Murray Road extension. They say a car struck a bicyclist.

 

 

(Urbana-cf)-- If you have never received a flu shot before, this might be the first year you want to do so. The flu with the shot is treatable as well as preventable. With the COVID-19 pandemic, the start of flu season, and other respiratory illnesses that occur during the winter months, it could overwhelm the hospital system, says Champaign-Urbana Public Health District Administrator Julie Pryde…. 

 

 

Champaign-Urbana Public Health District Administrator Julie Pryde.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- There will be no Halloween parade in Paxton this year. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the Paxton Park District decided against holding the parade but instead will hold a drive thru trick or treat at the civic center from 4-6 pm on October 31st.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- There will be a free drive thru COVID-19 testing site in Rantoul on Sunday. Testing will take place in the parking lot of the Greater New Light Baptist Church located at 1500 Sheppard Drive from 1-5 pm. 

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Crop harvesting is progressing quickly in Illinois. Another week of very little rain gave producers plenty of time in the fields, says State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 81 percent of soybeans have been harvested, well ahead of the five year average of 66 percent. 73 percent of winter wheat has been planted and 25 percent has emerged. Average statewide topsoil moisture declined to 22 percent very short, 34 percent short, 43 percent adequate and one percent surplus.

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is announcing health and safety precautions for deer hunting at state parks this year. IDNR wants to make sure hunters stay safe from the Coronavirus while enjoying the outdoors. That’s why there’s some changes this year says Spokesperson Rachel Torbert…

 

 

Illinois Department of Natural Resources Spokesperson Rachel Torbert. Additionally, there will be no in person drawings and assignments for blind locations or hunting zones and no pre-season orientation meetings will be held this year. Check IDNR’s website for more information and for impacts on specific state parks.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Fewer than 1 percent of dentists nationwide were found to be COVID-19 positive. That’s according to a report published by The Journal of the American Dental Association. The American Association of Endodontists says nearly 100 percent of dentists are using enhanced infection controls.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Right now, there’s a shortage of healthcare workers. The healthcare worker shortage, especially for nurses, is no surprise. This has been an existing problem way before the pandemic, but since all 11 regions in the state are seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases, local nurses are saying it’s a crucial time for Illinois. Approximately half of the nurses in Illinois are 55 and older. Governor Pritzker last week extended an order to bring in out of state nurses to help.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois now has more than 350,000 Coronavirus cases and almost 9,300 deaths. The seven day positivity rate now sits at 5.5 percent. As for local active and recovered cases, McLean County reported 3,571 have recovered, 264 are in isolation with 15 are hospitalized. Champaign County reported 5,323 have recovered, 310 are in isolation with 5 are hospitalized. Kankakee County reported 2,660 have recovered, 500 cases are active with 28 hospitalized. Ford County reported 209 have been released from isolation, 31 are in isolation with 6 hospitalized. Vermilion County reported 1,134 have been released from isolation, 184 are in isolation with 8 hospitalized. Iroquois County reported 435 have been released from isolation, 50 are in isolation with 5 hospitalized. Livingston County reported 522 have been removed from isolation, 72 cases are active with 4 hospitalized.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- As voters get ready to go to the polls for either early voting or on election day, some have concerns about the safety of voting in person during the pandemic. Champaign County Clerk Aarons Ammons says they have protocol in place to protect everyone…

 

 

Champaign County Clerk Aaron Ammons.

 

 

(Thomasboro-jm) -- Human remains found 25 years ago in a field in Thomasboro have finally been identified. The skeletal remains of the woman were discovered in a farm field near Thomasboro on May 1, 1995. The Champaign County Sheriff’s Office and Coroner’s Office revealed the identity as Keri Lynn Wyant.

 

 

(Mahomet-jm) -- Police are searching for the vehicle that was reportedly involved in a deadly hit-and-run collision. At approximately 4:20 p.m. on Sunday, October 11, three bicyclists were traveling on the right side of Illinois Route 150 westbound, approximately half a mile east of County Road 125 East in Champaign County. The vehicle allegedly struck one of the bicyclists, causing injuries that led to his death. Then, police say a second bicyclist was struck, but the individual sustained non-life-threatening injuries. Illinois State Police are searching for the vehicle of interest in this hit-and-run. It is described as a 2010-2014 white Ford Mustang with black side view mirrors.

 

 

(Paxton-cf)--Discover Ag Day Camp is an event that the Paxton Buckley Loda FFA Chapter as well as PBL Agriculture students hold every year. The purpose of the event is to teach younger kids the ins and outs of agriculture, and how important it is to our society. This year’s camp will look similar, and different at the same time as the event will be held over Google meets. PBL FFA Member Maci Kingren describes that process… 

 

 

PBL FFA Member Maci Kingren. 

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- The University of Illinois has canceled spring break and pushed back the start of the semester by one week. The start of the spring semester will now be January 25th instead of January 19th. The new calendar also includes three days off throughout the spring semester. Those are February 17th, March 24th and April 13th. The changes come as the University looks at ways to reduce COVID spikes on campus.

 

 

(Watseka-jm) -- Iroquois County residents will have a chance to get rid of unwanted electronics this weekend. Electronics recycling will take place on Saturday from 9 to noon at the Stock and Field parking lot in Watseka. You must show proof of being an Iroquois County resident.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Crop harvesting is progressing quickly in Illinois. 66 percent of corn has been harvested, up from 45 percent last week and about on track with the five year average. State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener looks at soybeans…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 73 percent of winter wheat has been planted and 25 percent emerged. The lack of rain brought average topsoil moisture to 22 percent very short, 34 percent short, 43 percent adequate and one percent surplus.

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Governor J-B Pritzker says he's resuming daily COVID-19 briefings because every region of the state is moving in the wrong direction

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker is announcing additional grant money to expand broadband internet in Illinois. This second round of 50 million dollars is available to internet service providers, rural cooperatives, non profits and local governments. Up to five million dollars is available per project with awardees matching the funding. Having high speed internet across the state is more important than ever says the Governor…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. The first round of grants supported 28 projects statewide. More information is available on the “Connect Illinois” website.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J.B. Pritzker has extended the moratorium on evictions, but only for another month. The governor issued the order to extend the COVID-19 order barring evictions of renters who are past due on their rent through November 14. The order also extends more than 30 other previous orders the governor has issued over the past seven months.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- A nonprofit is reminding Illinoisans struggling to pay utility bills during the coronavirus pandemic to seek help. The Citizens Utility Board said customers should contact their utility provider for specific details on the protection available.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker says he’s resuming daily COVID-19 briefings because every region of the state is moving in the wrong direction. The Governor will speak to the press and the public each weekday, as cases rise all over the state…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Governor Pritzker’s daily press briefings can be heard live on his twitter and facebook accounts, as well as on some local tv stations. We will bring you the latest from his briefings on our news at 4 and 5.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health announced 3,113 new Coronavirus cases and 22 additional deaths Monday bringing the state’s total number of cases to 347,161 and deaths to 9,236. Since Friday, McLean County reported 76 new cases bringing their total to 3,858. Champaign County reported 150 new cases bringing their total to 5,655. Livingston County reported 28 new cases bringing their total to 570. Ford County reported 19 new cases bringing their total to 251. Vermilion County reported 63 new cases bringing their total to 1,314. Kankakee County reported 93 new cases bringing their total to 3,208. Iroquois County reported 13 new cases bringing their total to 497.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Area health departments along with the Illinois Department of Public Health are reporting case totals in area communities. 406 are in Rantoul, 215 in Mahomet, 113 in St. Joseph, 86 in Gilman, 67 in Clifton, 65 each in Watseka and Hoopeston, 59 in Paxton, 51 in Fairbury, 49 in Chebanse, 41 in Fisher, 39 in Piper City, 33 in Onarga, 29 in Gibson City, 26 in Forrest, 25 in Potomac, 22 in Cissna Park, 21 in Milford, 19 in Thomasboro, 18 in Ashkum, 17 in Rossville, 16 each in Danforth and Gifford, 12 in Rankin, 11 each in Crescent City and Saybrook, 10 in Cabery, 9 each in Bellflower, Foosland, Wellington and Donovan, 8 each in Buckley and Martinton, 7 each in Loda, Roberts, Chatsworth and Beaverville, 6 each in Ludlow, Sheldon, Kempton and Cullom, 5 in Dewey, 4 each in Colfax and Arrowsmith and 2 in Penfield.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- The village of Rantoul is moving forward on demolishing some houses on Illinois Drive. Rantoul Village Administrator Scott Eisenhower talks about the project…

 

Rantoul Village Administrator Scott Eisenhower.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- One person was ticketed following a two vehicle rollover accident at the intersection of Union and Patton in Paxton late Friday morning. Paxton police say Elizabeth Mullett was traveling north on Union Street when she failed to yield at the intersection and struck a large SUV traveling on Patton driven by Kirstyn Finkelman. The impact caused the SUV to flip on its side and strike a utility pole on the northwest corner of the intersection. Mullett was cited for failure to yield.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- For 100 years, the Altgeld Chimes have provided a soundtrack for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus. The chimes’ 10-minute concerts between classes feature songs ranging from “Illinois Loyalty” to movie themes, and from hymns to pop songs. Starting October 25th, a weeklong series of concerts will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the chimes, with a special livestreamed concert October 30th at 3 p.m.

 

 

(Watseka-jm) -- Iroquois County Clerk Breein Suver has announced another temporary polling change for the November election. Suver says Beaver Township voters will vote at the community center instead of at the township building.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- We are coming closer to the November election when voters will be asked to approve a constitutional amendment changing the state’s tax structure from a flat rate to a progressive rate. 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman says it will hurt more people…

 

 

53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington.

 

 

(Normal-jm) -- A team led by Illinois State University’s Dr. Olcay Akman is urging authorities such as the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control to include N95 masks as a requirement for those traveling by airplane. Unlike homemade masks and surgical masks, N95s are classified as respirators that can filter at least 95 percent of airborne particles. Due to shortages of the N95 masks worldwide, organizations such as the CDC have recommended them solely for health-care workers and first responders. Professor Akman and his group of researchers say people traveling by air are forced to breathe recycled air increasing their exposure.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- 52nd District State Senator Scott Bennett of Champaign is encouraging women entrepreneurs to sign up for Business Interruption Grants during National Women’s Small Business Month. $636 million in economic relief is available for small businesses affected by the Coronavirus pandemic. Webinars are also available today and October 27th at 2pm.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- The USDA is forecasting tighter corn stocks. Stephanie Ho reports…

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Southern Illinois is the latest region to be placed under stricter COVID-19 safety measures. Region Five, in Southern Illinois currently has a test positivity rate of over nine percent, and an increase in Coronavirus related hospitalizations says Governor J-B Pritzker…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Region 1, the Rockford area, is already under the tougher rules and Regions 7 and 8 may soon follow. That includes Kankakee, Will, DuPage and Kane Counties.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J.B. Pritzker’s administration captured $219 million in federal funds that Congress and President Donald Trump approved months ago. About 4 percent has been paid to local governments across the state, according to documents from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. The money is meant for local governments and is not part of the billions of dollars that went directly to Chicago and other larger governments like Cook County. Most cities have received less than 1 percent. The vast majority of nearly 1,400 local governments have had zero dollars paid out.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois state Senator Ram Villivalam plans to introduce a paid family leave bill in the Illinois legislature sometime in 2021. The proposal would give employees full or partial paychecks for three to six months when they have a new baby, need to care for a sick relative or have an illness themselves. The Illinois chapter of the National Federation of Independent Businesses has concerns about the proposal. Thirty percent of members are struggling to stay in business during the pandemic. They say now is the worst time to hit small businesses with a costly government mandate.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health announced 3,113 new Coronavirus cases and 22 additional deaths Monday bringing the state’s total number of cases to 347,161 and deaths to 9,236. As for local active and recovered cases, McLean County reported 3,520 have recovered, 294 are in isolation and 14 are hospitalized. Champaign County reported 5,290 have recovered, 337 are in isolation, 5 are hospitalized. Livingston County reported 508 have been removed from isolation, 52 cases are active with 1 hospitalized. Ford County reported 171 have been released from isolation, 63 remain in isolation and 7 are hospitalized. Vermilion County reported 1,083 have been released from isolation, 214 are in isolation and 8 are hospitalized. Kankakee County reported 2,646 have recovered, 487 cases are active and 28 are hospitalized. Iroquois County reported 428 have been released from isolation, 46 remain in isolation and 4 are hospitalized.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Sadly 3 more deaths were reported in the WPXN listening area Monday. Ford, Livingston and Vermilion Counties each reported a new death. Ford and Livingston Counties now each have 10 deaths a piece and Vermilion County has 9 deaths.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Ford County Public Health Department is encouraging everyone six months of age and older to get their flu shot. Ford County Public Health Department’s Brandi Williams talks about the importance of getting your flu shot…

 

 

Brandi Williams with the Ford County Public Health Department. Get your flu vaccine by calling the health department at 217-379-9281.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Ford County will move forward with the farm lease auction. The county board was debating whether to hold the auction given the current pandemic and guidelines or rollover the current leases until next year. There are three county owned farms to be leased. Details on the date and location of the auction will be determined within the next few weeks.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- The Champaign County Coroner’s office will hold a press conference this afternoon to provide an update on a 1995 murder. Coroner Duane Northrup along with the Champaign County Sheriff’s office will provide the update with new information regarding the identity of Jane Doe. The press conference will be held at 2pm.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The American Soybean Association is seeking candidates for their soy scholarship. The scholarship is available to high school seniors interested in an ag career. The deadline to apply is December 6th. Application details are available online at american soybean dot wufoo dot com slash forms.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Gibson City is working on the final phase of their combined sewer separation project. Mayor Dan Dickey talks about the project…

 

 

Gibson City Mayor Dan Dickey.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- U of I researchers studied the effects of a 12-week exercise regimen on 148 active-duty Air Force airmen, half of whom also received a twice-daily nutrient beverage that included protein; the omega-3 fatty acid, DHA; lutein; phospholipids; vitamin D; B vitamins and other micronutrients; along with a muscle-promoting compound known as HMB. Both groups improved in physical and cognitive function, with added gains among those who regularly consumed the nutritional beverage, the team reports. The findings appear in the journal Scientific Reports.

 

(Pontiac-jm) -- The Livingston County Public Health Department is putting on a free flu shot clinic this week. The flu shot clinic will take place on Wednesday from 4-6 pm at the Livingston Family Care Center in Pontiac.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Tighter soybean stocks mean higher prices. Stephanie Ho and World Outlook Board Chair Mark Jekanowski have the details…

 

 

 

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