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There's still no word on when the state's indoor mask mandate will be lifted

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services is issuing recommendations for improving the safety and care of nursing home residents. The report is the result of nearly 18 months of review, and calls for some major reforms says Health and Family Services Medicaid Administrator Kelly Cunningham. She says the pandemic further hi-lited dangers and inequalities in the system…

 

 

Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services Medicaid Administrator Kelly Cunningham. Recommendations for change include increased funding, especially to help hire more workers and offer better pay to reduce turnover. Cunningham says they also want to move to a patient driven payment model in hopes of motivating nursing homes to offer higher levels of care.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- There’s still no word on when the state’s indoor mask mandate will be lifted. Generally, the COVID-19 situation in Illinois is better now than it was a few weeks ago, with fewer people testing positive for the virus and new cases slowly declining, says Governor J-B Pritzker. But he reminds those aren’t the only factors…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Governor Pritzker cites recent case and hospitalization surges in nearby Minnesota and Michigan as a concern. The latest daily totals for Illinois include nearly 25 hundred new cases and 16 hundred COVID patients in the hospital. Locally, Champaign County reported 31 new cases and 2 additional deaths bringing their total number of COVID deaths to 201. Vermilion County reported 90 new cases. Ford and Iroquois Counties did not have a report.

 

 

(Champaign County-jm) -- With the eviction moratorium come and gone, community activists have been calling on the Champaign County sheriff to halt evictions. The role the sheriff has in evictions is to serve the eviction notice and then enforce the eviction if it is ordered by a judge. The group wants the sheriff’s office to serve the notices.

 

(Rantoul-tr)-- The Village of Rantoul received a grant from the Illinois Department of Revenue a few years ago for Rantouls Forum Construction Project. Rantoul’s Park and Recreation Director Luke Humphery details the project… 

 

 

Rantoul’s Park and Recreation Director Luke Humphery.

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Clove Alliance officially has an office in Paxton. The group is opening at 124 W. State Street. Clove Alliance offers sexual violence victims with resources they need.

 

(Washington-jm) -- The latest USDA World Supply and Demand report is forecasting higher corn ending stocks than had been expected. Stephanie Ho reports…

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker is announcing more than 15 million dollars in funding to boost the development of wet labs across the state. Eight facilities will benefit from the grant money, which will help fund construction of new wet lab space. The labs are used to conduct research in areas like Biotechnology, medical devices and pharmaceuticals. It’s an industry that needs to continue to grow, says the Governor…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Private funding will bring the total investment to 90 million dollars. Schools and facilities receiving the money include the Illinois Institute of Technology, Northwestern University, both Southern Illinois University campuses and the University of Illinois Research Park.

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce has a new president. Austin Curtis was sworn in last night at the chamber’s banquet. Curtis is the local Edward Jones Financial Advisor.

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- A Style and Quilt show will be a part of this year’s sesquicentennial celebration in Gibson City. Spokesperson Susie Tongate talks about the event…

 

 

Gibson City Sesquicentennial Spokesperson Susie Tongate.

 

(Vermilion County-jm) -- October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and in recognition of the month, the Vermilion County State's Attorney' Office is hosting a supply drive.  The drive will supply and benefit the Crosspoint Human Services Domestic Violence Transitional Center.  Purple donations boxes will be placed at various locations including the Vermilion County Administration Building, McDonald's North Vermilion location and Crosspoint at the Y.  Items needed include men's and young men's hygiene products, baby products, pillow cases, sheets and other toiletries. The drive will run throughout the entire month of October. 

 

(Washington-jm) -- USDA's latest World Ag. Supply and Demand report takes into account unexpected corn data that came from the September 30th small grains report. Stephanie Ho reports…

 

 

The Iroquois County Public Health Department will host a flu shot clinic today from 10:30-noon at the Clifton Community Center.

 

The Ford County Public Health Department will host a flu shot clinic this afternoon from 2-4 pm at the health department in Paxton.

 

The Rantoul Public Library will host an outdoor movie behind the library tonight at 6:50 pm showing The House with a Clock in its Walls.

 

Paxton IGA will be hosting their cookout benefiting York Rite of Paxton on Saturday  from 10 to 2.

 

Ferrero is bringing its first-ever production center in the United States to central Illinois

(Springfield-jm) -- Lawmakers are due back in Springfield next week for the fall veto session. The six day veto session begins Tuesday, with a few items already on the docket. The legislature is expected to take up newly drawn Congressional district maps, as well as a correction to the Clean Energy Bill that just passed last month. The change would ensure the four thousand dollar rebate for buying an electric car applies to all of Illinois, says Governor J-B Pritzker…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Another topic that may be discussed includes the state’s parental notification law for teens seeking an abortion.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting 2,913 new and probable COVID-19 cases and 39 additional deaths. The seven day positivity rate has fallen to 2.6 percent. Champaign County is reporting 54 new cases and 2 additional deaths. Vermilion County reported 34 new cases and 3 additional deaths. Ford and Iroquois Counties did not have a report Wednesday.

 

 

(Bloomington-jm) -- Ferrero is bringing its first-ever production center in the United States to central Illinois. The confectionery company Ferrero Group broke ground on its new chocolate processing facility in Bloomington. The new production center will mean a $75 million investment in the city and will bring up to 50 new jobs.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Higher stocks are putting downward pressure on corn and soybean prices. Stephanie Ho reports…

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Watch your mail, you could be getting a letter from Illinois Treasurer Mike Frerichs’ office about unclaimed cash or property. More than 25 thousand letters have been sent, letting people know that they have property waiting for them says Treasurer Frerichs…

 

 

State Treasurer Mike Frerichs. This batch of letters represents millions of dollars worth of cash, property and stock. Additionally, Frerichs says they have sent out another nine thousand notifications through the “Money Match” program. If you receive one of those, just cash the included check.

 

(Ludlow-jm) -- A Ludlow man has been sentenced to 3 years probation for drug possession. Hunter Whitson pleaded guilty in Champaign County court to possession with intent to deliver meth. Whitson also pleaded guilty to DUI drugs and reckless driving in a separate incident that occurred in December.

 

(Washington-jm) -- USDA's October WASDE report says the nation's soybean stocks were higher than expected. Stephanie Ho reports…

 

 

The Iroquois County Public Health Department will host a flu shot clinic today at the Citizens State Bank in Milford from 9-10:30 am and at The Garage Community Center in Gilman from 1-3 pm.

 

Governor J-B Pritzker says the state will continue to fight lawsuits over state COVID-19 mandates

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker says the state will continue to fight lawsuits over state COVID-19 mandates. A number of suits have been filed, trying to lift the mask requirement for students and stop the vaccine requirement for teachers. Governor Pritzker defends the mandates…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. The Governor says those pushing these lawsuits are extraordinarily irresponsible and putting the health of students, school staff and surrounding communities at risk. As of Friday, there were 206 classroom outbreaks in Illinois in grades k through 12 and 28 traced back to school sports. An outbreak is defined as two or more related cases.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting 7,862 new Coronavirus cases and 64 additional deaths since Friday. Champaign County reported 163 new cases and 1 additional death. Vermilion County reported 103 new cases and 1 additional death. Iroquois County reported 49 new cases.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Fall harvest continues moving right along as we hear in the weekly crop report. It was warmer and wetter for most of the state this past week, with an average of about four days suitable for fieldwork, says Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 87 percent of soybeans are dropping leaves and 43 percent have been harvested. 21 percent of the winter wheat crop has been harvested. 21 percent of the winter wheat crop has been planted and average statewide topsoil moisture improved to four percent very short, 17 percent short, 74 percent adequate and five percent surplus.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- In updating our story from yesterday, we are learning more on Monday’s shooting on Market Street in Champaign near Marketplace Mall. Police say people inside two vehicles were shooting at each other. A 9-year-old boy inside an uninvolved vehicle was injured during the exchange of gunfire. The child was taken to the hospital by a family member. His injuries are not life-threatening.

 

 

(Danville-jm) -- A new report from the VA inspector general is out, and it said Danville’s VA failed to minimize the risk and manage the spread of a COVID outbreak. In the fall of 2020, two nursing homes on the Danville VA campus had a COVID-19 outbreak. 11 people died, 239 patients and 92 staff members tested positive. The complaints said they weren’t observing infection control, like wearing PPE. It also claimed there was inconsistent testing, and residents, families, and staff weren’t told about positive test results.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- The Baldwin Asylum has been scaring local residents for quite a few years now in Rantoul. With Covid-19 still a factor in today’s world, Baldwin Asylum Spokesperson Mark Dams shares how Baldwin Asylum has adapted… 

 

 

Baldwin Asylum Spokesperson Mark Dams. Find more information on dates and times of operation at www dot slayervilleproduction dot com 

 

 

(Champaign County-jm) -- Champaign County Crime Stoppers recently reported one of its best months in years. The board approved $4,000 in cash rewards to anonymous tipsters, but it’s important to note that money is solely funded by donations, and the group could use your help. A Go-Fund-Me account has been set up with a $25,000 goal.

 

(Washington-jm) -- The nation's corn and soybean crops could be bigger than had been projected a month ago, but for cotton it's a different story. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Labor is stressing the importance of grain bin safety. Grain storage is an essential part of fall harvest, but the Agency’s Hap Hileman says bins can be deadly…

 

 

Illinois Department of Labor’s Hap Hileman. Hileman advises workers to avoid entering the bin if possible. If they must, they should follow the lock out tag out protocol so grain is not being emptied into or moving out of the bin. Workers should be well trained and the air inside tested for the presence of combustible and toxic gases.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Fall harvest continues moving right along as we hear in the weekly crop report. There were about four days on average suitable for fieldwork, and the corn harvest is now 55 percent complete, says Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. Soybean conditions declined slightly to 71 percent in good to excellent condition. 21 percent of winter wheat has been planted and seven percent emerged. Average statewide topsoil moisture increased to four percent very short, 17 percent short, 74 percent adequate and five percent surplus.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- University of Illinois Police arrested an 18-year-old student because he was accused of attacking his roommate during a heated argument on Monday. According to police officers, Benjamin Lu and his roommate had a fight at around 5 a.m. at Nugent Hall on Gregory Drive. It was reported that Lu was the aggressor in this fight.

 

 

(Rantoul-tr)-- Hardy’s Reindeer Ranch in Rantoul features many different attractions that the whole family can enjoy including. Hardy’s Reindeer Ranch Operator Julie Hardy shares a few activities ranging from peddle carts to learning about the ranch's twenty one reindeer… 

 

 

Hardy’s Reindeer Ranch Operator Julie Hardy

 

(PAXTON-dg)-Paxton Masonic Lodge #416 is sponsoring the 2nd Annual “Get out of Dodge” Raffle. You can win a trip for 4 days and 3 nights to New Orleans. Experience the history, culture and beauty of the “Big Easy”. Tickets can be purchased $40 for 1, $75 for 2 or $100 for 3. Only 500 tickets will be sold. Additional prizes will also be awarded. Tickets can be purchased at Hudson Drug Shop, Paxton Public House, and Kirchner Building Center in Paxton. Proceeds from the raffle supports charitable causes and service projects within the community and college scholarships for PBL Students. Drawing will be held during the open house held 1-4 Saturday October 23rd, at the Paxton Masonic Lodge in Paxton. 

 

(Washington-jm) -- USDA's October crop reports incorporate higher corn, soybean stocks.  Stephanie Ho reports…

 

 

The Ford County Public Health Department will host a flu shot clinic today from 9-11 am at the Kempton American Legion.

 

 

 

Fourteen Illinoisans have been ranked among the 400 wealthiest Americans in 2021

(Springfield-jm) -- Fourteen Illinoisans have been ranked among the 400 wealthiest Americans in 2021, including Governor J.B. Pritzker. Forbes ranks hedge fund manager Ken Griffin as the richest, with a net worth of $16.1 billion. That is good enough to be ranked 47th overall. Pritzker is ranked 318th with a net worth of $3.6 billion. Over the last year, Forbes says the “400 wealthiest Americans saw their collective fortune increase 40% over the last year, to $4.5 trillion.

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Champaign police are investigating a shooting on Market Street near Marketplace Mall that occurred around 4:30 p.m. on Monday. No word on if anyone was injured.

 

(Undated-jm) -- Multiple lots of Parent’s Choice Rice Baby Cereal sold across the nation at Walmart and online have been voluntarily recalled after testing ‘above the guidance’ for naturally occurring inorganic arsenic. Maple Island Inc., which manufactures the product for Walmart, issued the recall with the knowledge of the FDA. Walmart has also pulled the product from its shelves. The specific Parent’s Choice Rice Baby Cereal 8 oz lots being recalled were sold after April 5, 2021, and include: Lot 21083 with UPC Code #00681131082907 with a best if used by date of JUN 24 2022, Lot 21084 with UPC Code #00681131082907 with a best if used by date of JUN 25 2022 and Lot 21242 with UPC Code #00681131082907 with a best if used by date of NOV 30 2022.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Christian group for King and Country will be coming to the State Farm Center in Champaign next year. The group will perform on April 21st. Tickets go on sale November 12th at 10 am.

 

 

(Gilman-jm) -- The Iroquois County community of Gilman could begin receiving permanent police coverage from the county. The county board is expected to consider a proposal this morning to purchase the assets of the now defunct Gilman police department.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- There are several meetings taking place around the area tonight. At 6 in Vermilion County, the Vermilion County board is expected to approve their budget and tax levy. Also at 6 in the village of Rantoul, leaders there are expected to approve a resolution expanding C-Cart service, consider selling properties at 721 Galaxy and 501 and 505 Condit and request IDOT to lower the speed limit on U-S 136 from 40 to 35 near Murray Road. At 7 in Paxton, city leaders could approve adding camping to a city park, approve the FY 21 audit and consider a school resource officer agreement with the PBL school district. Also at 7 down in St. Joseph, village leaders are expected to discuss a splash pad project and consider purchasing pedestrian crossing signs. The Vermilion County Board and Rantoul village board meets at 6 with the Paxton city council and St. Joseph village boards meeting at 7.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois ranks seventh in the nation in laser strikes on airplanes. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, there have been more than 6,700 laser pointer attacks in the U.S. this year, with Illinois accounting for 263. The FAA fine for shining a laser at an aircraft can be up to $11,000 per violation. Violators can also face criminal punishment from federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Champaign Police will be holding a special Memorial Ceremony honoring law enforcement officers from around the world who have died in the line of duty. The Champaign Police Memorial Ceremony will take place on Friday at 9 a.m., at West Side Park in Champaign. The ceremony will pay a special tribute to fallen Champaign Police Officers Thomas Dodsworth, Robert Tatman and Christopher Oberheim. During this year’s ceremony, the Champaign Police Department will present the Medal of Valor and Purple Heart Awards to the family of Officer Christopher Oberheim and Officer Jeffrey Creel for their distinguished service with exceptional courage, regardless of personal safety, in an attempt to protect and save human life on May 19.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Parkland College officials said there were shots fired near campus earlier Monday.  A statement to the campus community said this was at Sunbelt Rentals on Mattis Avenue. There is no indication the gunshots were directed at people or buildings on campus, Parkland said. Champaign police said there were no injuries reported to law enforcement from this shots fired call. 

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Gibson City police have released their recent activity report. On October 5th, Gino Parenti of Gibson City was arrested for criminal trespass to real property. Also on October 5th, Heather Bland of Urbana was arrested for possession of a controlled substance, unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of meth and obstructing identification.

 

(Champaign County-jm) -- COVID-19 Pfizer booster vaccination clinics will be held in Champaign County throughout October, health officials announced. Vaccinations will take place today and tomorrow, 19th through the 21st and 26th and 27th at the iHotel in Champaign from 9-4 no appointment is needed.  Vaccinations with an appointment required will be held at Kohls Plaza today through Thursday and 19th through the 21st from 10-5:30. Appointments can be scheduled by going to carle dot org slash covid 19.

 

The Rantoul Public Library will host a mobile secretary of state event for drivers license renewals among other things today from 10-2.

 

The Ford County Public Health Department will host a flu shot clinic this evening from 4-6 pm at the health department in Paxton.

 

Money made from Illinois cannabis sales in the last three months has nearly doubled since the same time last year

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health Friday confirmed the first human West Nile virus-related death in Illinois for 2021. A Will County resident who first became ill in late August and tested positive for West Nile virus has died. Currently, 40 human cases of West Nile virus have been reported in Illinois. Last year, IDPH reported 42 human cases, including four deaths.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- All public and private schools looking to start a COVID-19 testing program are getting a helping hand. The Illinois Department of Public Health partnered with the U.S. Health and Human Services’ Midwest COVID-19 Testing Coordination Center to help expand testing. The expansion will add testing capacity, speed up the testing onboarding process, and help gain access to federal funding.

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 2,744 new and probable cases of COVID-19 Friday and 35 additional deaths. Locally Friday, Vermilion County reported 123 new cases. Ford County reported 33 new cases. Champaign County reported 44 new cases and 3 additional deaths. Iroquois County did not have a report Friday.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- A committee of legislators are reviewing statues around the state capitol. One of the committee members is Tom Bennett of Gibson City who discusses what the committee is doing and a recommendation recently brought forward…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

(Iroquois County-jm) -- A Mississippi man is dead following a fiery semi crash on I-57 late Thursday in Iroquois County. Coroner Bill Cheatum identified the victim as Jackie Greer of Booneville Mississippi. State Police say for an unknown reason Greer’s semi went into the median and struck the bridge at Del Rey causing the semi to catch fire. 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Could camping be coming to Paxton? That’s a question before the Paxton City Council tomorrow night. Council members will consider adding campsites to a park in the community. WPXN News will continue to follow this story.

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Ford County Board and Gibson City city council both meet tonight for their monthly meeting. In Paxton at 7, the Ford County board is expected to approve their fiscal year 2022 budget. Also at 7, Gibson City leaders will hear an update on the storm sewer maps and consider adding American Recovery Funds to the water department budget. 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Traders are anxiously awaiting USDA's next round of reports which should give us a better idea of the size and market prospects for the major crops. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The amount of money Illinois has made from cannabis sales in the last three months has nearly doubled since the same time last year. A new state report shows that cannabis tax revenues have grown almost 89% in the first quarter of FY22 compared to the same since last year. In Q1 of FY22, the state collected $66.2 million in cannabis excise taxes. In Q1 of FY21, the state collected $35 million in cannabis excise taxes.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White is announcing all driver services facilities will be closed for the Columbus Day holiday. Facilities open Monday through Friday are closed today.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois General Assembly will return to Springfield later this month for the fall veto session. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City has what we can expect…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

 

(Clinton-jm) -- Young hunters between the ages of 10 and 17 can apply now for the youth wingshooting clinics and Illinois youth pheasant hunts scheduled for Saturday, October 30 at Clinton Lake State Recreation Area in DeWitt County. Permits for the Clinton Lake SRA youth wingshooting clinics and pheasant hunts are available through the IDNR Controlled Pheasant Hunting online reservation system. Hunters need to review the “Illinois Youth Pheasant Hunt Information” and the “Illinois Youth Pheasant Hunt Regulations” on the controlled pheasant hunting webpage prior to applying.

 

 

(Fairbury-jm) -- A Fairbury police officer has been released from a Peoria hospital after he was involved in an accident chasing a suspect. The Fairbury Police Department says the officer attempted to stop a vehicle when it took off. Both the suspect's vehicle and the police officer's vehicle left the road and rolled several times. The officer was taken to St. James-John Albrecht Medical Center in Pontiac before being life-flighted to Peoria. The incident remains under investigation. The suspect was apprehended.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- What's ahead for livestock producers and products? We'll get a new answer to that question very soon. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker says the state will not mandate the COVID-19 vaccine for K-12 school children

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker says the state will not mandate the COVID-19 vaccine for K-12 school children. Pritzker was asked at a press conference if he would follow California Governor Gavin Newsom’s lead and mandate the COVID-19 vaccine for K-12 school children in public and private schools. The Springfield school board is asking the State Board of Education to mandate the vaccine for school children.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- A central Illinois lawmaker wants public school teachers to be reimbursed for their tuition. Representative Sue Scherer is proposing a new tuition reimbursement program under House Bill 4139. Under the bill, the Illinois Student Assistance Commission would be required to establish the grant program. Eligible teachers would be able to be reimbursed for eight semesters of intuition for up to 10 years as part of the program.

 

 

(Paxton--jc)  It's a homecoming weekend at one local church in Paxton. The two day celebration is set for the Paxton Church of Christ on Paxton’s west side. Minister Tom Anders talks about Saturday’s agenda…

 

 

Paxton Church of Christ Minister Tom Anders.On Sunday a worship service and potluck are planned

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting 3,371 new Coronavirus cases and 36 additional deaths Thursday. Champaign County reported 44 new cases. Ford, Iroquois and Vermilion Counties did not have a report.

 

 

(Parke County, Indiana-jm) -- A fall favorite just over the border in Indiana returns after a year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The annual Parke County Covered Bridge Festival gets underway today and runs through October 17th.

 

 

(Iroquois County-jm) -- Two men charged in connection to a body found in a gas tanker truck pleaded not guilty to all charges Thursday morning at the Iroquois County Court. 33-year-old Billy Roof and 37-year-old Ryan Morrow were arraigned on charges of unlawful possession of a stolen vehicle and unlawful concealment in the death of 29-year-old Garrett Meyer from Nashville, Illinois. Two truck drivers discovered the body at a gas transfer hub just outside of Buckley, Illinois on June 4.  There has been no evidence of foul play in the 29-year-old’s death which was ruled an overdose in August. Roof faces another felony: Use of account number or code with intent to defraud. Roof and Morrow remain in custody Thursday. The judge denied requests to reduce their bonds, both set at $50,000. Pre-trial hearings are set for November.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Legislative districting maps continue to be a hot button topic in Springfield. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City provides an update on the latest…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

 

(Champaign County-jm) -- Crime Stoppers is offering people in  Champaign County a chance to safely dispose of personal documents, unwanted prescription drugs and unused cell phones in an upcoming event.  The event will be held on Saturday, October 23 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. in University of Illinois parking lot E14. The lot is at the corner of 1st Street and Kirby Avenue, which is just west of the State Farm Center. Those who participate should enter the lot from 1st Street and follow a marked path to the collection site. Event workers will help guide people.

 

(Washington-jm) -- Here's how export sales of bulk agricultural commodities have been doing. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

The Paxton Church of Christ will hold their homecoming weekend on Saturday, and Sunday. The homecoming features an ice cream social after Saturday evenings service at 6:30 and a catered lunch following Sunday morning service at 10:30.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker on Thursday announced two new agreements with the Illinois Nurses Association and Illinois Federation of Public Employees that will require nearly 1,300 more state employees to receive COVID-19 vaccines. The agreement with the Illinois Nurses Association covers about 1,100 nurses working in 24/7 facilities. The agreement with the Illinois Federation of Public Employees covers about 160 employees working in Human Services and Veterans’ Affairs. Employees must receive their first shot by October 14. Should an employee elect a two-dose vaccine, they must receive the second shot by November 18. State employees who remain unvaccinated or do not receive an exemption by the dates identified will face progressive disciplinary measures, which may ultimately lead to their discharge. 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Office of Broadband today announced a new interactive Connect Illinois Broadband Map and creation of the Illinois Broadband Lab. The efforts will provide Illinois residents and communities with new data on broadband connectivity in their area, as well as an online speed test, to identify gaps and tailor broadband planning efforts to boost access to high-speed internet service.

 

 

(Rantoul--jc)  --  The Baldwin Asylum Haunted Attraction is in its 9th year on Rantoul’s east side in the Taylor Studios building. Spokesperson Mark Dams talks about the latest version of the haunted attraction…

 

 

Baldwin Asylum Haunted Attraction Spokesperson Mark Dams.The local haunt has been rated as one of the top 5 haunted attractions in the state of Illinois


 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- An Urbana man is dead after being shot multiple times early Thursday morning. Champaign Police were called around 3:12 a.m. to the 500 block of West White Street for a report of shots fired. Charles Evans was found in an alleyway suffering from multiple gunshot wounds to his torso and arm. He died about an hour later at a local hospital from a gunshot wound to the chest.

 

 

(Clinton-jm) -- Clinton lake got some more fish, all thanks to the Illinois department of natural resources. IDNR transferred fish from one of their five ponds where they raise fish, into the lake. They unloaded about 37-thousand of them including crappie and catfish.

 

 

(Thawville-tr) -- A new brewery has come to Thawville, Illinois known as Artesia Brewing. Spokesperson Linda Tammen explains how Artesia Brewing is more than just a local bar scene… 

 

 

Artesia Brewing Spokesperson Linda Tammen.An Octoberfest celebration is set for this weekend at Artesia Brewing of rural Thawville

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- OSF is announcing OSF Pro Ambulance will become Advanced Medical Transport come 2022. All OSF PRO emergency ground transportation services in Champaign and Vermilion Counties will transfer to AMT. The timeframe for the transition is still being determined, but it is expected to be completed in early 2022.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- The Agriculture Secretary testified before the House Ag Committee on the current state of the livestock industry and on matters to be addressed within it. Rod Bain reports…

 

 

 

The Ford County Public Health Department will host a flu shot clinic today from 9-11 am at the health department in Paxton.

 

The Cruisin Towards Cures for Campers MDA Car Show will take place on Saturday at the Champaign County Fairgrounds.

 

Paxton IGA will be hosting their cookout benefiting the Prairie Champions 4-H Club on Saturday from 10 to 2.

 

The Paxton Church of Christ will hold their homecoming weekend on Saturday, and Sunday. The homecoming features an ice cream social after Saturday evenings service at 6:30 and a catered lunch following Sunday morning service at 10:30.

 

Homeowners in flood-prone areas of Illinois are bracing for higher insurance rates

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois State Board of Education is reaching out to private schools not complying with the governor’s mask mandates to discuss compliance, and they’re putting them on probation, rather than immediately revoking recognition. The Chicago Tribune reported ISBE’s new policy follows last week's Kendall County court ruling that Parkview Christian Academy’s recognition status be reinstated pending the outcome of the case.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Now that the eviction moratorium has ended in Illinois, some are wondering if there will be a wave of eviction filings that could threaten to overload the system. Landlord eviction filings were allowed to resume in August, but they weren’t enforceable until now. According to a U.S. Census Bureau survey, more than 60,000 Illinoisans said they are likely to face eviction in the next two months.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- This is Manufacturing Month in Illinois. Governor J-B Pritzker says the manufacturing industry is already a leading driver of the state’s economy, with over 100 billion dollars in annual economic output and more than 18 thousand companies located here. He expects those numbers to grow and more jobs will need to be filled with talented workers...

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. The Governor is also celebrating the 40th new manufacturing announcement this year in Illinois, with news that the Chicago Magnesium Casting Company in Dixmoor is expanding and adding 40 jobs.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting 2,932 new Coronavirus cases and 54 additional deaths. Vermilion County reported 37 new cases. Champaign County reported 53 new cases. 

 

(Undated-jm) -- A Paxton man could face 10 years to life imprisonment after being found guilty of the enticement of a minor. Robert Shawn Anderson was found guilty yesterday. It took the federal jury less than 90 minutes to reach a verdict. Evidence showed Anderson set up a meeting for sexual activity with someone he believed to be 15 years old using a dating application called MeetMe. Anderson is set to be sentenced on January 10, 2022.

 

 

(Champaign County-jm) -- Champaign County Crimestoppers says September was one of their most productive months in years. The group says that helpful information led to the arrest of 7 people, and 18 firearms were recovered. That includes 12 handguns and 6 rifles. $25,143 in cash was also seized. $4,000 was rewarded to tipsters.

 

(Washington-jm) -- Farm Service Agency guaranteed loans now have a higher loan limit for borrowers needing capital for farm ownership or operating purposes. Rod Bain reports…

 

 

The Iroquois County Public Health Department will host a flu shot clinic today from 9-10:30 am at the Iroquois Farmers Bank in Iroquois and from 11-1 at Beaverville Hardware.

 

The Rantoul Public Library will host a blood drive today from 3-7 pm.

 

The Cornbelt Fire Protection District in Mahomet will hold an open house this evening from 6-8 pm.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- For the first time in a while, Illinois takes second place in monthly firearm background checks reported through the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System. For September, Illinois’ 347,400 checks would be the top spot of all states if it weren’t for Kentucky’s 370,700 checks. But, Illinois still holds the top spot so far this year with nearly 7.5 million checks compared to Kentucky in second place with 2.7 million checks.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Homeowners in flood-prone areas of Illinois are bracing for higher insurance rates after the Federal Emergency Management Agency launched a revamp of its flood insurance program. Beginning this month, FEMA is transforming the program by bringing more equitable pricing to flood insurance.

 

(Champaign County-jm) -- COVID-19 Pfizer booster vaccination clinics will be held in Champaign County throughout October, health officials announced. Vaccinations will take place through today, October 12th and 13th, 19th through the 21st and 26th and 27th at the iHotel in Champaign from 9-4 no appointment is needed.  Vaccinations with an appointment required will be held at Kohls Plaza through today, 12th through the 14th and 19th through the 21st from 10-5:30. Appointments can be scheduled by going to carle dot org slash covid 19.

 

(Washington-jm) -- Now in its 107th year, the National 4-H organization continues to expand its educational outreach to students across different disciplines and locations. Rod Bain reports…

 

 

 

 

Illinois State Board of Education says a recent CDC study found masks are effective in reducing the spread of COVID-19

(Springfield-jm) -- Masking up in school is a contentious issue in many areas, but the State Board of Education is pointing to a recent CDC study that found masks are effective in reducing the spread of COVID-19. The CDC study looked at about one thousand schools in Arizona and determined that schools that don’t require masks were three and a half times more likely to have an outbreak of the virus compared to schools that do. The State Board’s Executive Director of Safe and Healthy Climate Jeff Aranowski…

 

 

State Board of Education Executive Director of Safe and Healthy Climate Jeff Aranowski. Governor J-B Pritzker was asked this week when the state’s school mask mandate will be lifted and he said they will continue to follow the recommendations of the CDC.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 3,058 new Coronavirus cases and 23 additional deaths Tuesday. Vermilion County reported 42 new cases and 1 additional death. Champaign County reported 48 new cases. Ford and Iroquois Counties did not have a report.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Attorney General Kwame Raoul and law enforcement partners are boosting efforts to fight online child exploitation. Reports of child pornograhy and exploiting kids are on the rise and everyone must do their part to stop this trend, says Attorney General Raoul. His office has put together a series of webinars for parents and schools to learn more about internet safety, apps like Snapchat and Tik Tok and signs that a child or student has been a victim of online solicitation…

 

 

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul. Additional efforts are being coordinated through the Attorney General’s internet crimes against children task force, which is deploying a new mobile computer forensics unit that will travel the state as well.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Ford County Soil and Water Conservation District will once again be holding their fall tree sale. Tree orders are due by October 8th. To place your order call 217-379-4388.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Ethics reform was passed during the recent legislative session. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City talks about the legislation…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

 

(Champaign County-jm) -- The Champaign County Continuum of Service Providers to the Homeless seek to fill the gap in the homeless service system and advocate for year-round and low-barrier emergency shelter for single individuals.  According to the group, they will be requesting proposals to fill the gap and plan to advocate for local non-CSPH funds, as well as to provide technical assistance to apply for Continuum-controlled funds such as the ESG program. According to the 2021 Point in Time Count, 148 total individuals are experiencing homelessness, with 132 individuals residing in emergency shelter programs.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- October is National Protect your Hearing Month and the Illinois Department of Labor is focusing on safety at work. Hearing loss can occur at any age, and those constantly exposed to high decibel sounds on the job are at particular risk, says the agency’s Hap Hileman…

 


Illinois Department of Labor’s Hap Hileman. Employers in these situations are required to provide workers with hearing protection and to take steps like limiting exposure to loud noises, using low-noise machinery and building a barrier to muffle the noise if possible. Officials recommend talking to your doctor if you’re concerned about hearing loss.

 

 

(Danville-jm) -- A man who stole over $2 million from two companies, including a sign company in Danville, has pleaded guilty to charges. Court documents say 43-year-old Jeffery Henson's string of crimes began in 2016, when he pretended to be an online job recruiter to obtain personal identifying information of a job seeker. With that person's stolen information, he obtained a job in their name as director of accounting at a Schaumburg, Illinois, consulting firm, stole at least $1,868,765. He then worked at Watchfire Signs in Danville when he took the identity of another individual and stole over $330,000.

 

(Vermilion County-jm) -- October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and in recognition of the month, the Vermilion County State's Attorney' Office is hosting a supply drive.  The drive will supply and benefit the Crosspoint Human Services Domestic Violence Transitional Center.  Purple donations boxes will be placed at various locations including the Vermilion County Administration Building, McDonald's North Vermilion location and Crosspoint at the Y.  Items needed include men's and young men's hygiene products, baby products, pillow cases, sheets and other toiletries. The drive will run throughout the entire month of October. 

 

The American Red Cross will hold a blood drive at the Cissna Park American Legion today from 1-7 pm.

 

The Iroquois County Public Health Department will host a flu shot clinic today from 4-6 pm at the health department in Watseka.

 

Deer mating season is here and the Illinois Department of Transportation is urging motorists to be careful and stay alert.

(Springfield-jm) -- Trampoline courts in Illinois are now required to have inspections and permits. This comes after Governor JB Pritzker signed House Bill 60 into law. Trampoline courts now fall under the regulations set forth by the Amusement Ride and Attraction Safety Act. The Illinois Department of Labor does not allow amusement rides or attractions to operate unless they have been inspected and permitted. Gymnastics facilities with trampolines will not be included.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Deer mating season is here and the Illinois Department of Transportation is urging motorists to be careful and stay alert. The season typically runs October through December, so drivers need to be especially cautious, says i-dot spokesperson Maria Castaneda…

 

 

 IDOT Spokesperson Maria Castaneda. Castaneda also warns to prepare for the unexpected as deer sometimes stop in the middle of the road or double back. Last year in Illinois, there were nearly 14 thousand deer-vehicle accidents, resulting in 611 personal injuries and 10 deaths.

 

(Clarence-jm) -- Emergency crews were called to an accident in Clarence just after 8 pm last night. Emergency personnel from Rankin were called to the accident involving a lawn mower and an SUV. No word on if there were any injuries.

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The City of Paxton is considering combining two commissions. Currently 7 people serve on the planning commission and 5 serve on the zoning board of appeals. The council is considering combining the two commissions into one 7 member group.

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- The Community Service Center of Northern Champaign County is celebrating 50 years serving the northern Champaign County area. One of the services they provide is a food pantry, says Director Andy Kulczycki...

 

 

Community Service Center of Northern Champaign County Director Andy Kulczycki.

 

 

(Ford County-jm) -- The Ford County Sheriff’s Office has released their September activity report. During the last month, deputies responded to 5 traffic accidents and issued 33 citations for speeding, 2 each for driving on a suspended or revoked license, operating an uninsured motor vehicle, disregarding a stop sign, driving on a sidewalk and DUI and 1 each for fleeing police, failure to reduce speed and reckless driving. Deputies also handled 9 domestic issues, 8 suspicious persons reports, 3 each of theft and harassment, 2 each of abuse, fraud and violation of court order and 1 each of vandalism, trespassing, phone scam, custody dispute and sex offender registration notification violation.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Harvest continues ahead of last year’s pace as we hear in the weekly crop report. There was an average of six days suitable for fieldwork this past week, says Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 32 percent of soybeans have been harvested, compared to 23 percent at the same time last year. 12 percent of winter wheat has been planted and one percent has emerged. Average statewide topsoil moisture improved to nine percent very short, 18 percent short, 71 percent adequate and two percent surplus.

 

(Washington-jm) -- The U.S. Trade Representative Monday announced how the Biden Administration plans to address its trade relationship with China. Rod Bain reports…

 

 

(Buckley--jc)  --  Two Illinois men have been arrested in connection with an incident where a dead man was found in a gas tank in Buckley. 29 year old Garrett Meyer of Nashville Illinois was found deceased in the gas tank in June. Iroquois County authorities continue to investigate this incident. WPXN news will continue to update this story as more official news is released

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin of Illinois, is introducing legislation he believes will reduce gun violence by preventing the theft of firearms from federally-licensed gun dealers or FFL. The Chicago Tribune reported a gun stolen in Wisconsin from a gun store in 2017 has been linked to 27 shootings in Chicago.  Durbin’s legislation seeks to address so-called “smash and grab” burglaries by requiring all firearms to be securely stored when an FFL is not open for business. Either in safes or by fastening them to an anchored steel rod.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- This is National Fire Prevention Week. The focus this year is on the “Sounds of Safety” says Illinois State Fire Marshal Spokesperson JC Fultz…

 

 

State Fire Marshal Spokesperson JC Fultz. Fultz says a continuous set of three loud beeps means there is smoke or a fire in your home and you should get out immediately. He also reminds us that all smoke alarms must be replaced after 10 years.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 7,139 new Coronavirus cases and 59 additional deaths since Friday. Locally since Friday, Champaign County reported 85 new cases and 2 additional deaths. Vermilion County reported 137 new cases. Iroquois County reported 92 cases and 2 additional deaths. Ford County did not have a report.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- The Gibson City Melvin Sibley school district is assessing damage from this summer's storms. A storage building by the tennis courts and all 4 dugouts at the middle school will have to be demolished. 

 

(Thawville-tr) -- A new business with a unique taste has come onto the scene in the small town of Thawville, Illinois known as Artesia Brewing. Located at 384 E 1200 North Road in Thawville, Artesia Brewing Spokesperson Linda Tammen shares a few key menu items being served at the new brewery…

 

 

Artesia Brewing Spokesperson Linda Tammen. 

 

(Champaign County-jm) -- Champaign county will begin offering COVID booster shots starting today. The Champaign Urbana Public Health District estimated about 20,000 residents qualify for the Pfizer booster that was recently approved by the CDC. The health department says boosters will be available at the Carle Health location at Kohls Plaza and the health departments I-Hotel and Conference Center.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Harvest continues ahead of last year’s pace as we hear in the weekly crop report. 95 percent of corn is mature and 41 percent of the crop has been harvested. That compares to 24 percent harvested at this time last year and 32 percent normally says Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 12 percent of winter wheat has been planted and average statewide topsoil moisture increased to nine percent very short, 18 percent short, 71 percent adequate and two percent surplus.

 

(Washington-jm) -- What is Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack's reaction to the U.S. Trade Representative's stance on trade with China? Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

The Iroquois County Public Health Department will host a flu shot clinic today from 9-11 am at the Crescent City Community Center.

 

The Ford County Public Health Department will host a flu shot clinic today from 2-4 pm at the health department in Paxton.

 

Illinois lawmakers approved energy legislation last month during a special session in Springfield

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting 3,356 new and probable COVID-19 cases Friday and 41 additional deaths. As of Friday, Ford County reported 15 new cases bringing their total to 2,368. Champaign County reported 61 new cases and 3 additional deaths bringing their total number of cases to 26,416 and deaths to 191. Vermilion County reported 114 new cases and 2 additional deaths bringing their total number of cases to 13,074 and deaths to 190.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Gibson City will be hosting a style and quilt show later this month as part of their sesquicentennial celebration. Spokesperson Susie Tongate talks about the show…

 

 

Gibson City Sesquicentennial Spokesperson Susie Tongate.

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The 3rd annual Wine and Chocolate Walk was held Saturday. The event was a huge success.  The winner of the grand prize for a one night stay at the Cobblestone Inn was Rick Barnes. The Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce announced next year’s wine and chocolate walk will take place the first weekend in October.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- A vigil to raise awareness on domestic violence will take place in Rantoul tonight. The vigil is set for tonight at 6pm in front of the municipal building on Tanner Street. Femi Fletcher, a former board member of Courage Connection, a Champaign based domestic violence shelter will be the guest speaker.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois lawmakers approved energy legislation last month during a special session in Springfield. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City talks about the legislation…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

(Urbana-jm) -- Mary Henson, wife of legendary hall of fame U of I basketball coach Lou Henson will serve as grand marshal for this year’s homecoming parade. The parade will take place on Saturday, October 9th at 11 am.

 

The Ford County Public Health Department will host a flu shot clinic today from 9-11 am at the Gibson City Telecare.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health’s COVID-19 ambassador program is an important part of dispelling misinformation about the virus. The ambassadors are volunteers, committed to talking with friends, relatives and neighbors about preventing COVID infection, the importance of wearing a mask and getting vaccinated. State Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike spoke with several ambassadors virtually last week, making sure they have the correct information. She was asked about the strength of each dose of the Pfizer vaccine...

 

 

Illinois Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike. Others asked if those who got the Johnson and Johnson or Moderna shot can get the Pfizer booster. Ezike says that’s not recommended at this time because there hasn’t really been much research on mixing different versions of the vaccine.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting 3,356 new and probable COVID-19 cases Friday and 41 additional deaths. As of Friday, Ford County reported 15 new cases bringing their total to 2,368. Champaign County reported 61 new cases and 3 additional deaths bringing their total number of cases to 26,416 and deaths to 191. Vermilion County reported 114 new cases and 2 additional deaths bringing their total number of cases to 13,074 and deaths to 190.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- The Rantoul Township High School school board approved their fiscal year budget. Superintendent Scott Amerio says the district is looking good financially…

 

 

Rantoul Township High School Superintendent Scott Amerio.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- In a single day, 28 eviction cases were filed in Champaign County. For months, it’s been unclear how many people will be sent packing once Governor J.B. Pritzker’s eviction moratorium officially lifted yesterday. For months, renters were protected from evictions being filed in court under the moratorium. That is, up until August 1. Since then, the Champaign County Courthouse has been averaging about three cases filed per day.

 

 

(Watseka-jm) -- There’s a new sheriff in Iroquois County. Clint Perzee took over for Derek Hagan who retired last week. Perzee will fill the rest of Hagan’s term which expires in November 2022, which he plans to run for the seat then.

 

(Champaign County-jm) -- Champaign County home sales rose slightly in August. The Champaign County Association of Realtors says 328 homes sold up about one percent compared to August 2020. The median home price rose 9 percent in August to $185,000.

 

The Ford County Public Health Department will host a flu shot clinic today from 9-11 am at the Gibson City Telecare.

 

The deadline is approaching for small businesses to apply for state recovery grants

(Undated-jm) -- Students and parents are being warned about the latest Tiktok challenge that may get their student into serious trouble. School districts are saying the latest challenge asks students to calmly walk up to their teacher, slap them and run away, making sure they capture the whole thing on camera. Many districts say they have zero tolerance for this type of behavior.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The deadline is approaching for small businesses to apply for state recovery grants. 24 million dollars in Back to Business Grants have already been awarded, with another 226 million in funding still available says Governor J-B Pritzker…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. The deadline to apply is October 13th. Visit the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s website for more details.

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting 3,344 new and probable COVID 19 cases and 42 additional deaths. The seven day positivity rate is down to 2.8 percent. Locally, Vermilion County reported 47 new cases. Champaign County reported 55 new cases. Ford and Iroquois Counties did not have a report.

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Rantoul Township High School leaders are looking at capital projects over the next few years. One project would be adding HVAC to the only portion not currently climate controlled while another project would be to redo the track. Both look to be done this upcoming summer. But Superintendent Scott Amerio says the district is looking at an even bigger project potentially in 2023…

 

 

Rantoul Township High School Superintendent Scott Amerio.

 

 

(Champaign County-jm) -- One person is dead and three people have serious injuries after a Champaign County crash.  State police said the crash occurred at about 7:30 p.m. on Route 150 at Champaign County 2550 East near Ogden. It was a head-on crash involving two vehicles. 

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Champaign Police arrested a 16-year-old boy in connection to a shots fired investigation near Centennial High School. Officers are also continuing to search for another suspect they said is involved in the situation. In a news release, police officials said a warrant was issued September 25 for the teenager on aggravated discharge of a firearm. He was arrested Thursday morning near Sheffield and West Lock Raven roads in Champaign. The boy was taken to the Champaign County Juvenile Detention Center. His name has not been released. On September 15, Champaign Police responded to an area near Jefferson Middle School and Centennial High School for a report of shots fired.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The 3rd annual Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce Wine and Chocolate Walk is set for this Saturday from 11 to 4:30. Those participating will be eligible to win several small prizes and a grand prize, says Chamber President Alan Meyer…

 

 

Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce President Alan Meyer. WPXN radio is one of the many stops on the tour on Saturday in Paxton

 

(Undated-jm) -- If you have an important letter to send in a hurry, make sure to send it early. Starting today, new service standards are being implemented for First-Class Mail and periodicals. The United States Postal Service says it will take an extra day or two to deliver the mail that's traveling longer distances. First-Class Mail being sent locally will still only take about two days.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Ford County Soil and Water Conservation District will once again be holding their fall tree sale. Tree orders are due by October 8th. To place your order call 217-379-4388.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- USDA's quarterly stock forecasts revealed a surprise regarding ending stocks for corn and soybeans, compared to industry projections. Rod Bain reports…

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- A 17-year-old boy has died after he was shot in the torso while sitting alongside the roadway in the 1500 block of West Kirby Avenue on Thursday around 5:30 p.m. When Champaign police officers were called to the scene, they found the victim in the roadway suffering from a life-threatening gunshot wound to his torso. Officers rendered medical aid until the victim was rushed to a local hospital. The victim died from his injuries a short time later.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The CDC is strongly recommending that pregnant women get the COVID-19 vaccine. Less than one third of pregnant women are fully vaccinated, reports the CDC, which is calling for urgent action to boost those numbers. On a recent virtual call with COVID ambassadors in Illinois, State Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike was asked about this very issue…

 

 

State Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike. Ezike says pregnant women who contract COVID are more susceptible to complications from the virus and are at higher risk of delivering their baby too early.

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Paxton’s streetscape project is temporarily on hold. Mayor Bill Ingold says they plan to start moving forward with the project soon....

 

 

Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold.

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, 130 people die every day from suicide. 4URantoul has seen an increase in the number of suicidal calls. The group, which includes an officer with the village police department, believes the increase in COVID cases and people isolating themselves from others.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Two opportunities to receive the COVID-19 Pfizer booster vaccination are coming to Iroquois County and Champaign. To combat this effort the Iroquois County Public Health Department as well as the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District, will each host COVID-19 Pfizer booster vaccination clinics. The Iroquois County Health Department will be offering the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine booster/third dose to eligible individuals by appointment Monday-Friday; 9 - 3:30. To schedule an appointment call 815- 432-2483. Eligible individuals are those who received Pfizer for their initial COVID-19 vaccine.  The CUPHD, in partnership with Carle Health, OSF HealthCare, Christie Clinic, Promise Healthcare, and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign will be hosting community-based COVID-19 Pfizer booster vaccination clinics beginning in October. A clinic will be held at the iHotel and Conference Center from October 5-7 from 9 – 4. Champaign will also offer a second clinic located at Kohl’s Plaza October 5–7, 12–14, and 19–21 from 10 – 5:30. Appointments can be made through MyCarle and at carle.org/covid-19

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- The Community Service Center of Northern Champaign County, located in Rantoul is celebrating 50 years with a celebration at Wabash Park tonight. Community Service Center  Director Andy Kulczycki has been with the group for a long time. Kulczycki  talks about how the need has grown for all types of services…

 

 

Community Service Center of Northern Champaign County Director Andy Kulczycki.

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Paxton Buckley Loda School District is considering bringing in a school resource officer. The officer would be from the Paxton Police Department. The school district and City of Paxton will continue discussions.

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Water rates in the western Ford County community of Gibson City will be going up. Council members approved the increase recently. A family of four is expected to see their rates increase $10.85 a month.

 

(Washington-jm) -- Extreme drought conditions in various wheat growing regions are contributing to lower wheat production forecasts compared to the previous year. Rod Bain reports…

 

***News nws 2798wheat***

 

Lake Iroquois will have garage sales today and tomorrow from 8-5.

Maps will be available at the Front gate

 

The Ford County Public Health Department will host a flu shot clinic today from 9-11 am at the Gibson schoolhouse apartments.

 

The 2021 Harvest Days will take place today through Sunday at the Old Courthouse Museum in Watseka.

 

Paxton IGA will be hosting their cookout benefiting the United Methodist Women on Saturday from 10 to 2.


The Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce’s 3rd annual Wine and Chocolate Walk will take place on Saturday from 11 to 4:30. Only 200 tickets will be sold and can be purchased at the chamber office, Mom and Pops Kettle Korn and Hudson Drug and Hallmark. 

 

The Melvin Community Hall will host Wes Wheeler and Battle Creek Country Band on Saturday at 7pm. Cost is $10 per person, 13 and over. Food will be available from the Melvin Women’s Club.

 

The First Christian Church of Gibson City will hold a free concert featuring the Bree Gordon Band from Chicago on Sunday from 4-6 pm.

 

Unemployment was down for the 5th consecutive month in all Illinois metro areas

(Washington-jm) -- A University of Illinois Sociology professor is lending his thoughts about disinformation to a Congressional subcommittee on the topic. Researchers want to analyze the impact of incorrect information online and expose disinformation campaigns, but they often run into roadblocks getting data from social media companies like Facebook and YouTube, says the U of I’s Kevin Leicht. For example, his team has been studying posts regarding the pandemic...

 

 

University of Illinois Sociology Professor Kevin Leicht. Leicht and others testifying at the hearing want Congress to mandate social media platforms release accurate data.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- A new bill would allow Illinois residents to sue gun manufacturers, dealers, or importers if the guns they produce are responsible for injuries or death in Illinois. Representative Margaret Croke of Chicago filed the bill. Under the Firearms Dealer and Importer Liability Act, also referred to as the Protecting Heartbeats Act, any Illinois resident other than a state or local government officer or employee can sue a gun manufacturer, importer, or dealer if their gun is responsible for injury or death. A settlement would be a minimum of $10,000 in damages for each person injured or killed by the firearm.

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Parkland College plays a key role in boosting the local Champaign-Urbana and greater Illinois economies, according to a new study from the Illinois Community College Board. The study estimates that, in the last fiscal year, Parkland College's total economic output on the statewide economy was $85.7 million. During this period, Parkland employed 1,024 employees with a total payroll of $37.7 million in wages and benefits. This activity rippled through the state economy, creating 220 additional jobs, boosting payrolls, and promoting other economic activity, according to the study. Parkland College's economic impact is not limited to the local or statewide economy. The study found that more than 80 percent of Parkland's long-term certificate and associate's degree graduates obtained jobs in their career field within one year of graduation. Employment rates improved over time, with 90 percent of graduates employed after 10 years. Parkland Health Professions degree completers saw the highest employment rate at 88.6 percent.

 

(Undated-jm) -- Unemployment was down for the 5th consecutive month in all Illinois metro areas in August. Locally, Vermilion Counties fell from 8.9 percent to 7.1 percent. Champaign County 7.2 percent to 5.7 percent. Ford County 6.3 percent to 5.1 percent and Iroquois County 5.8 percent to 4.8 percent.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Gibson City leaders are looking to add a new well. The well would be in the Falcon Point subdivision and Drummer Creek. It’s estimated to cost around $1.1 million.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- A new report looks at the economic impact of community colleges in Illinois. This latest study shows the state’s 48 community colleges remain a solid return on investment for students getting their associates degree. The same holds true for those completing shorter programs says Board Executive Director Brian Durham…

 

 

Illinois Community College Board Executive Director Brian Durham. Durham says when comparing earnings one year after completion of a community college program to three years after, African American students saw their pay increase by 47 percent and Latin-X students by 57 percent.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The director of a state board that in early 2020 was forced to end a contract with a Democratic activist after his name surfaced in purported government coverups involving a rape and illegal state hiring has been removed from his job. The Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board said on Wednesday that it fired former executive director Brent Fischer earlier this month.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- The Community Service Center of Northern Champaign County has been serving the area for 50 years. The current director, Andy Kulczycki has been there for over half that time. He talks about some of the changes he has seen during his time with the group…

 

 

Community Service Center of Northern Champaign County Director Andy Kulczyki. A celebration will take place tomorrow evening from 3:30 to 6:30 at Wabash Park in Rantoul.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Two groups are helping flood victims in Gibson City. The Gibson City Rotary Club and Lions Club are delivering new appliances to homes. A flood devastated many homes back in August. The rotary club got $25,000 in grants to help people get back on their feet. Recently they have been giving out washers and dryers. They plan to pass out refrigerators next and they hope they’ll have enough money to give people new freezers.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 2,989 new Coronavirus cases Wednesday and 42 additional deaths. Champaign County reported 65 new cases and 1 additional death. Vermilion County reported 60 new cases and 1 additional death. Ford and Iroquois Counties did not have a report.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Capitol improvements are coming to the Rantoul Township High School. One of the projects being looked at is adding HVAC to the last portion not currently climate controlled. Superintendent Scott Amerio says another project they hope to complete over the summer is redoing the track…

 

 

Rantoul Township High School Superintendent Scott Amerio. The final project being considered is a $7 million expansion.

 

(Undated-jm) -- Gas prices have fallen 10.1 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.12 per gallon. The national average price of gasoline has fallen 0.7 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.17 per gallon. 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- The World famous Harlem Globetrotters will be returning to Champaign. The Globetrotters will be at the State Farm Center on Friday, January 7th at 7pm. Tickets go on sale at 10 am Tuesday, October 5th.

 

Illinois State Police continues to reduce the FOID card backlog

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois State Police continues to reduce the FOID card backlog. Adding more staff and overhauling an antiquated system has helped state police lower backlogs by 89 percent for renewals and 75 percent for new applicants. Director Brendan Kelly says it’s been a challenging year with such a big influx of people wanting to get their FOID and concealed carry cards…

 

 

Illinois State Police Director Brendan Kelly. Kelly says the ultimate goal is for the state police to process new FOID applications within 30 days and renewals within 60 days.

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting 2,375 new Coronavirus cases and 32 additional deaths. Champaign County reported 39 new cases. Vermilion County reported 54 new cases and 2 additional deaths. Ford and Iroquois Counties did not have a report Tuesday.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Insurance’s program to help find old life insurance policies has helped consumers collect three million dollars so far this year. Insurance companies are required to try and find the beneficiaries of life insurance policies after someone has died, but families can also do their own search with a tool called the “Life Policy Locator.” The state Department of Insurance’s Shannon Whalen explains how it works…

 

 

State Department of Insurance’s Shannon Whalen. Millions of dollars in benefits have already been paid out. To check for any outstanding policies, visit insurance dot illinois dot gov and type life policy locator in the search bar.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- An area airport is receiving statewide recognition. Frasca Field in Urbana was named the Privately-owned airport of the year by the state of Illinois.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Several Gibson City residents have brought flooding concerns before the city council. The residents live in the Railside Drive area. They say every time they get a heavy rain the ditches in the area flood.

 

 

(Hoopeston-jm) -- A man who robbed a Hoopeston business will serve six years in prison.  Mathew Hofer committed this crime at about 1:25 p.m. on July 3 at 112 Wine and Coffee Shoppe in Hoopeston. Hofer walked into the business and ordered an employee to give him all the money while pretending he had a gun. Authorities arrested him shortly after the robbery.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- There is mounting evidence to show that we are on the down side of the beef cattle cycle. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- A 20-year-old student at the University of Illinois at Urbana – Champaign was arrested at around 2:43 a.m. on Saturday in relation to an incident of domestic battery. According to officers, Yisi Lyu initially called U of I police to ask for advice regarding a fight that he had on Friday. It was between him and a person that he is dating. During his conversation with the police, Lyu admitted that he choked his partner during their fight. Lyu was in his dorm room at Sherman Hall on South Fourth Street when the police arrested him.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The State Department of Public Health is reporting the first human case of rabies in Illinois since 1954. A Lake County man in his 80s woke up back in August to find a bat on his neck. The bat was captured and tested positive for rabies. The man refused the rabies preventive treatment and later died. So what if you come in contact with a bat? State Public Health Veterinarian Dr Connie Austin…

 

 

State Public Health Veterinarian Dr Connie Austin. Austin says it’s important for those exposed to get the preventive protocol. The rabies virus affects the central nervous system, ultimately causing brain disease and usually death.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Attendance at this year’s Illinois State Fair is setting records. After a year hiatus due to the pandemic, State Fair Spokesperson Krista Lisser says the annual August event did well, with more than 427,000 visitors. That’s the second highest total since the state started formally tracking attendance in 2014…

 

 

State Fair Spokesperson Krista Lisser. Over 44,500 tickets were sold to grandstand concerts, generating more than a million and a half dollars in revenue. All the numbers aren’t in yet but Lisser says overall, the 2021 fair produced about five million in revenue, ranking ninth for total revenue over the last 20 years.

 

 

(Bloomington-jm) -- Frontier Airlines is now offering nonstop flights from Bloomington, Illinois to Tampa, Florida. Right now, rates are as low as $49. The flights will begin taking off in mid-December 2021.

 

 

(Ashkum-jm) -- District 21 Illinois State Police in Ashkum have released results of recent Nighttime Enforcement Patrols. The patrols were conducted on September 25th in Kankakee County. 1 person was cited for DUI, 2 citations were issued for other drug or alcohol related offenses, 4 citations were issued for occupant restraint violation, 7 for registration violations and 3 each for drivers license and insurance violations.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Opening day for fall trout fishing has been announced. Opening day is set for October 16th at 59 locations around the state. Locations locally include Kaufman Lake in Champaign, Kickapoo State Park near Oakwood and Weldon Springs State Park near Clinton.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Recent reports and forecasts for the pork sector reflect a mix of both pessimism and optimism. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

(Mahomet-jm) -- Champaign County Crime Stoppers is looking for your help to track down a thief. They’re responsible for stealing 11 catalytic converters in Mahomet. Authorities say it happened between August 30 and September. 1. The thief targeted vehicles at the Mahomet Car Connection dealership near East Oak Street and Sunny Acres Road in Mahomet.

 

All hospitals and health care facilities in Illinois must begin keeping records that monitor vaccination status for all of their staff

(Springfield-jm) -- A proposed bill would change possible repercussions for domestic violence, sexual assault, or unwanted pregnancies. The people bringing the civil action could seek no less than $10,000 in damages. The “The EXpanding Abortion Services Act," also known as TExAS, would allow anyone to bring a civil action against any person who commits an act of sexual assault or domestic abuse or causes an unintended pregnancy, regardless of circumstances. It would also allow civil action to be brought against anyone who aids or abets those situations or intends to engage in them.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- A national publication recognized multiple central Illinois hospitals as being among the best in their region. Places receiving honors from the 2021-22 U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals rankings include Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana, which ranked as the No. 10 hospital in the state and is nationally ranked (No. 49) for pulmonology and lung surgery, Carle BroMenn Medical Center in Normal, which ranked as high performing in heart failure, knee replacement and stroke, and Carle Hoopeston Regional Health Center. 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Corn and soybean harvesting is underway as we hear in the weekly crop report. This past week was warmer than normal and rainfall was just a bit above average, leaving about five and a half days suitable for fieldwork. 83 percent of corn acres are mature and 21 percent of the crop has been harvested. Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener looks at soybeans…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. Average statewide topsoil moisture dropped to 11 percent very short, 29 percent short, 58 percent adequate and two percent surplus.. Two percent of winter wheat has been planted.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is announcing 6,671 new and probable Coronavirus cases and 77 additional deaths since Friday. Locally since Friday, Champaign County is reporting 116 new cases bringing their total to 26,196. Vermilion County is reporting 101 new cases bringing their total to 12,799. Iroquois County is reporting 77 new cases and 3 additional deaths bringing their total number of cases to 4,024 and deaths to 72. Ford County did not have a report Monday.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- A Gibson City funeral director accused of stealing from her former employer pleaded guilty to a reduced theft charge this summer and was ordered to pay $58,947 in restitution and serve one year of probation. Michelle M. Rosenbaum, who operates the Rosenbaum Funeral Home in Gibson City, pleaded guilty on July 14 in Ford County Circuit Court to one count of misdemeanor theft, alleging she stole less than $500 from the Lamb Young Funeral Home in Gibson City. In exchange for the plea prosecutors agreed to dismiss a more serious theft charge — a Class 2 felony alleging Rosenbaum stole in excess of $10,000.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Are rapidly rising food prices becoming the "new normal"? Gary Crawford has the details…

 

 

 

(Hoopeston-jm) -- The Hoopeston police department has a new officer and promoted another. Thomas Kirby was hired as a full time officer while Marvin Dobkins was promoted to sergeant.

 

(Champaign-tr) -- The Champaign County Farm Bureau has started a virtual meeting program that focuses on relaying information from experts in agriculture to local farmers. Champaign County Farm Bureau Manager Brad Uken has the details… 

 

 

Champaign County Farm Bureau Manager Brad Uken.

 

The virtual meetings can be found at ccfarmbureau.com

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Gibson City Police have released their recent activity report. On September 20th, Gino Parenti of Gibson City was arrested for disorderly conduct and criminal damage to property. On September 26, Robert Borders of Sibley was arrested for aggravated domestic battery, battery and an in state warrant. Also on September 26th, Adam Durham of Gibson City was arrested for an in-state warrant.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- All hospitals and health care facilities in Illinois must begin keeping records that monitor vaccination status and Coronavirus test results for all of their staff, according to a new emergency rule issued by the state. The Illinois Department of Public Health quietly filed the emergency rules with the Secretary of State’s office at the close of the first week under Governor Pritzker’s new vaccine mandate for health care workers. Pritzker’s mandate would require all workers at health care facilities and schools to be fully vaccinated or submit to weekly testing. The new reporting and record-keeping rules apply to hospitals, assisted living centers, skilled nursing facilities, sheltered care facilities, veterans homes, and a variety of other health care facilities licensed with the state, and go into effect immediately.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Fraternal Order of Police says efforts may be underway to reduce peoples’ rights under the Health Care Right of Conscience Act. The Illinois law has been on the books since 1998. Some say it gives individuals the right to not be discriminated against in their public or private sector job for refusing a medical procedure for which they have a conscientious objection. President Chris Southwood said lawmakers could attempt to revise the law during the fall veto session next month.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Corn and soybean harvesting is underway as we hear in the weekly crop report. It was a warmer than normal week leaving 66 percent of soybeans dropping leaves and 10 percent of the crop is harvested, says Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. Two percent of the winter wheat crop has been planted and average statewide topsoil moisture declined to 11 percent very short, 29 percent short, 58 percent adequate and two percent surplus.

 

(Vermilion County-jm) -- Vermilion County Clerk Cathy Jenkins is announcing nominating petitions for the 2022 general primary election will be available starting January 13th. Filing runs March 7-14. The primary election will take place June 28th.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Will shoppers start to see lower prices at the meat counter later this year? Gary Crawford has the details…

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is continuing to use wastewater to detect COVID-19 in communities. According to IDPH, they are collecting samples of wastewater in seven additional counties in the state. COVID-19 can be detected in wastewater three to five days before people develop any symptoms, officials from IDPH said. The state initially sampled and analyzed wastewater in ten counties including Carroll, Cass, Franklin, Fulton, Jefferson, Lawrence, Livingston, Macon, Montgomery, and Vermilion in May. Since then, they've expanded to counties like Champaign and Pike. IDPH says approximately $311 thousand dollars have been spent on this program at this time out of 5.5 million that's been originally allocated. They hope to study all 102 counties by the end of January.

 

 

(Champaign County-jm) -- Champaign county will begin offering COVID booster shots starting October 5th. The Champaign Urbana Public Health District estimated about 20,000 residents qualify for the Pfizer booster that was recently approved by the CDC. The health department says boosters will be available at the Carle Health location at Kohls Plaza and the health departments I-Hotel and Conference Center.

The Illinois Department of Public Health is adopting CDC recommendations for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker is signing revised legislative district maps into law. The political boundaries were drawn this summer to reflect new census data. Representative Ann Williams of Chicago was a strong backer of the proposal when it was debated on the House floor back in August…

 

 

State Representative Ann Williams of Chicago. Republicans have derided the map making process, saying districts should have been drawn by an independent commission, not just by Democrats.

 

(Urbana-jm) -- An animal exploitation watchdog organization said that a University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign professor needs to be fired after he allegedly violated federal testing regulations twice. The organization, Stop Animal Exploitation Now, said that experiments led by the professor could have led to something potentially dangerous to the public. The information revealed that the professor is Principal Investigator Justin S. Rhodes. According to information gathered from the FOIA request, Rhodes had been suspended twice for a violation of the federal guidelines in 2021 and 2017.

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Rantoul Township High School leaders are looking at capital improvement projects. The district is looking at three projects. Superintendent Scott Amerio talks about one of the projects…

 

 

Rantoul Township High School Superintendent Scott Amerio. The other two projects include redoing the track and adding onto the gym.

 

(Buckley-jm) -- The village of Buckley is the latest area community looking to codify and update their ordinance books. The village board recently approved spending $9,000 to codify their ordinances.

 

(Washington-jm) -- One number in Friday's USDA Cattle on Feed report may have given some analysts a mild surprise. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce’s Wine and Chocolate Walk returns this weekend for the 3rd year. Chamber President Alan Meyer says tickets are still available…

 

 

Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce President Alan Meyer.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is adopting CDC recommendations for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. The guidelines are out and State Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike offers the details...

 

 

Illinois Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike. Additionally, those aged 18 to 49 with an underlying condition may get the booster shot and those 18 to 64 working in jobs with a lot of exposure are advised to as well. Ezike says the booster will offer an added layer of protection against the virus.

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Gibson City is still working to recover after historic flooding hammered the town more than a month ago. Many people had water fill up their basements. So, whatever was down there was likely ruined. Others had water into their upstairs living areas, like the kitchen and living room. That means people have lost expensive appliances. Like washers and dryers, freezers, refrigerators, and ovens. Many organizations in the area saw their neighbors struggling and jumped in to help. The Gibson City Rotary Club and Lions Club started delivering large appliances last week and will continue into this week. They don’t have an infinite amount of money or appliances. So, it’s based on those in the most need. Those wanting to help can reach out to Susie Tongate at 309-825-0311.

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The City of Paxton is looking at addressing drainage concerns. Mayor Bill Ingold talks about the potential projects….

 

 

Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold.

 

(Roberts-jm) -- The village of Roberts is looking for a new ordinance officer. Sarah Meyer recently resigned from the position after less than a year. Anyone interested is asked to contact village president Matt Vaughan at 217-249-3722.

 

(Washington-jm) -- U.S. hog producers have cut inventories, but may reverse themselves in the months ahead. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- A vigil to raise awareness on domestic violence will take place in Rantoul next week. The vigil is set for Monday, October 4th at 6pm in front of the municipal building on Tanner Street. Femi Fletcher, a former board member of Courage Connection, a Champaign based domestic violence shelter will be the guest speaker.

 

The LaSalle County Coroner has identified the body of Missing ISU Student

(Springfield-jm) -- More than 80 Illinois school districts have signed off on a letter to the state asking for more say in the decision-making process. They're asking Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois State Board of Education to let school board officials do what they were elected to do. This comes after the governor issued a mask mandate for all schools in the state, public and private, overturning some Return to Learn plans districts had already created. Local districts signing on the letter include: Clifton Central, Ridgeview, Oakwood, LeRoy, Gifford Grade and Clinton.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting 3,505 new and probable COVID-19 cases and 44 additional deaths. Champaign County reported 63 new cases and 2 additional deaths. Vermilion County reported 59 new cases and 1 additional death. Ford and Iroquois Counties did not have a report Thursday.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker is announcing big investments in getting people back to work. 40 million dollars in workforce recovery grants is now available, targeting industries hit hard by the pandemic. The money can be used for job training, placement and other support services says Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Acting Director Slyvia Garcia

 

 

Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Acting Director Sylvia Garcia. There’s an additional 4.4 million dollars in grants going to organizations around the state to help offer job training opportunities to at risk youth. More information about both programs is available online.

 

 

(Bloomington-jm) -- The LaSalle County Coroner has identified the body of 25-year-old Jelani Day. Day was found on September 4th floating near the south bank of the Illinois River. Yesterday the coroner positively identified the body as that of Jelani Day through forensic dental identification and DNA testing and comparison. Further testing is being done to determine the official cause of death. Day was an Illinois State University student.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- The Agriculture Secretary provides the latest on efforts to assure compliance from member nations in the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement on ag trade matters. Rod Bain reports…

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup is releasing the name of the woman who died after a shooting in Urbana this week. Northrup says 32 year old Brittany Lane died after she was shot in a vehicle on Florida Avenue Monday evening. An autopsy will be performed.

 

The Gathering in Gilman will hold their Junk in the Trunk on Saturday from 9 to 3.

 

Paxton IGA will be hosting their cookout benefiting the Loda Methodist Men on Saturday from 10 to 2.

 

The Clinton Apple n Pork Festival will take place Saturday and Sunday.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Don't forget to wear your mask to the haunted house. That’s the message from the Illinois Department of Labor, which said because of Illinois’ indoor mask mandate, visitors must wear masks despite vaccination status. Haunted houses in Illinois must also have a permit to operate and follow other rules like random drug tests and background checks of non-volunteer workers.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- House lawmakers are hearing from state officials about the ongoing process of fighting unemployment benefit fraud. States across the country have been dealing with attempts to steal benefits since the pandemic began. At a committee hearing, Illinois Department of Employment Security Director Kristen Richards said it’s been a frustrating, uphill battle…

 

 

Illinois Department of Employment Security Director Kristen Richards. State technology experts say these attacks are happening to several government agencies and that they are working on ways to thwart fraudsters with firewalls, a new log in process for customers and more advanced identity checks.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- A suspect accused of shooting and killing a woman in an Urbana vehicle has officially been charged with murder.  Devontre Newbill had a count of first degree murder filed against him for the Monday shooting of Brittany Lane late Monday night, Lane was a passenger riding in a vehicle in a parking lot in the 1700 block of E. Florida Ave. in Urbana. 

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- The Agriculture Secretary notes two things U.S. officials can do to increase agricultural trade to China under the Phase One agreement. Rod Bain reports…

 

 

(Clinton-jm) -- DeWitt County Coroner Randy Rice has released the identity of the body found at Clinton Lake. The victim was identified as 65 year old Alan Bell of Clinton. Authorities believe the vehicle Bell was driving went partially down an embankment at the lake. Bell exited the truck from the passenger side and slipped into the lake.

 

 

State officials are clarifying the power school districts have to send your child home due to COVID concerns

(Springfield-jm) -- An Illinois lawmaker wants to prohibit the state or school districts from requiring minors to wear masks or get vaccinated. Representative David Welter filed the Parental Medical Choice Act last week. The bill would make it so the State, schools, and people couldn't require a minor to get a health care service or take a health-related precaution. That would include mandating masks or vaccinations. If approved, a parent could sue for damages of up to $1,000 a day for violations.

 

New

(Springfield-jm) -- State officials are clarifying the power school districts have to send your child home due to COVID concerns. Governor J-B Pritzker filed an executive order that states schools have to "exclude" staff or students with confirmed or probable infections from school grounds and extracurricular activities, instead of relying on local health departments or court orders. It specifies "exclusion from a School shall not be considered isolation or quarantine." The order also says state agencies can file emergency rules to implement these changes.

 

(Paxton -tr) -- A fallen State Trooper will be honored today. Marvin Archer will be honored this morning at 10am at the Paxton Fire House with a road being dedicated in his name in Paxton. Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold shares the story of the fallen State trooper…

 

 

Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold

 

(Kankakee-jm) -- A man who stole $2 million from Kankakee and a regional wastewater agency has been sentenced to nine months in federal prison and two years of home confinement. Richard Simms was accused of diverting money through a fraudulent software invoicing scheme. Simms served as director of the Kankakee River Metropolitan Agency and superintendent of Kankakee’s Environmental Services Utility.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Several Champaign County communities are looking at water projects. Ludlow is considering connecting to Rantoul’s sewer system but that will come with a $5 million price tag. Thomasboro is considering drainage work on the northwest side of the community that would cost up to $400,000.

 

The Paxton Emergency Response Service will  hold their pork burger and brat supper tonight from 5-7:30 at their station located at 134 W. State Street. Cost is $7.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Twelve Illinois schools are still unrecognized or on probation for not complying with Governor JB Pritzker's mask mandate. The executive order says all students in both public and private schools are required to wear masks, and there could be consequences for districts who say they won't be following that. Public school districts have 60 days from when the Illinois State Board of Education sends them a notice they are not in compliance with the mask mandate to change their policy.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services and the Illinois Department of Human Services in conjunction with the Illinois Department of Innovation and Technology are notifying the public of an incident within the State of Illinois Integrated Eligibility System. On November 24, 2020, the State discovered an issue, which is the eligibility system of record for State-funded medical benefits programs, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. An investigation revealed that household members who were once on a case and had their access removed could still see information even after they were no longer part of that case. 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Champaign School District officials said they are investigating a social media threat that was believed to have been directed at Centennial High School. The district is working with the Champaign Police Department on the issue.

 

 

(Loda-jm) -- Loda’s new water tower will cost over $900,000. The village board approved a contract with Schomburg and Schomburg Construction at a cost of $975,160. $550,000 of the project will be covered by a grant and the other portion by a 30 year loan at 1 percent interest. Work is expected to begin in April 2022.

 

 

(Springfield---jc)  --  Whether it be Covid or the flu, the symptoms are similar. While the fear of getting covid is still present, it could just be the flu, says Illinois Public Health Department Spokesperson Melaney Arnold…

 

 

I-D-P-H Spokesperson Melaney Arnold

 

 

 

This is Child Passenger Safety Week

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois has now topped 1.6 million COVID infections. The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 3,002 new cases Tuesday bringing the state’s total number of cases to 1,601,759. 22 additional deaths were also reported. Vermilion County reported 150 new cases and 4 additional deaths. Champaign, Ford and Iroquois Counties did not have a report.

 

New

(Springfield 09/22 am-jc) --the Illinois Department of Public Health is reminding people to get their annual flu shot. Since the symptoms for the flu and covid-19 are similar, and because you can get both viruses at the same time, it's very important to make sure you're vaccinated, says State Public Health spokesperson Melaney Arnold. 

 

 

Illinois State Department of Public Health Spokesperson Melaney Arnold. Arnold says for those who haven't been vaccinated against covid-19 yet, it's safe to get flu and covid shots at the same time.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- A Rantoul man is behind bars after a shooting Monday night in Champaign. Police officers heard multiple gunshots fired just before 8 p.m. near an apartment complex in the 1100 block of North 3rd Street. A black sedan was seen driving away from the scene fast. Champaign Police say the car was seen violating multiple traffic signals, disobeying stop signs, and failing to yield to emergency vehicles while continuing to speed away from law enforcement. The car then crashed in the 500 block of South 3rd Street. Kejuan Carter of Rantoul, was arrested on preliminary charges of armed violence, possession of a firearm by a felon, reckless driving and resisting a peace officer.


 

(Paxton--jc)  Gold Star riders made their way through the WPXN listening area on Tuesday.  WPXN’s Tyler Robinson has the story…

 

 

(Mahomet-jm) -- Mahomet-Seymour Junior High School students invited first responders to lunch with them on Tuesday. The student council puts on this event every year. They do it to help the students get to know first responders and celebrate them and the work they do.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Some farmers are increasingly concerned about rapidly rising costs and smaller supplies for the inputs they need to produce a crop. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

 

(Buckley-jm) -- The Buckley village board is hitting pause on hiring an ordinance officer. The village had planned to hire former Trustee Terry Whitebird to the position after former police officer and ordinance officer Chris White was relieved of his duties earlier this year. However, the villages attorney recommended the board hire a part time police officer instead of a private citizen to handle ordinance offenses.

 

The Paxton Emergency Response Service will  hold their pork burger and brat supper on Thursday, September 23rd from 5-7:30 at their station located at 134 W. State Street. Cost is $7.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- This is Child Passenger Safety Week. It’s estimated that four out of five car seats are not installed correctly, putting kids in danger. That’s why the Illinois Department of Transportation is focusing on the issue this week, and holding “seat check Saturday” this weekend, says Spokesperson Paul Wappel…

 

 

Illinois Department of Transportation Spokesperson Paul Wappel. Car seat safety technicians will be available around the state, helping parents make sure they have the right size seat and that it’s being used correctly. Visit: buckle up saturday illinois dot org for more information.

 

 

(Vermilion County-jm) -- The Vermilion County Museum will unveil a new piece for their Lincoln exhibit. The Lincoln penny sculpture was created by lifelong Vermilion County resident Richard Belton. The artwork will be unveiled during the museum’s Lincoln Commemorative Open House on September 26. That will start at 1:45 p.m.

 

 

(Armstrong-jm) -- Armstrong Township High School ag teacher Destiny Swalve was named one of four ag teachers in Illinois to receive an Illinois Agriculture Education Teacher grant for first year ag teachers. 

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Are the current low interest rates on farm loans about to disappear? Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

 

(Roberts-jm) -- Roberts will no longer be spraying for mosquitoes during the summer months. That’s because the person who normally does it, did not renew their license with the state. The village board decided to do away with spraying instead of trying to find someone else with a current license.

 

Governor JB Pritzker gives an update on COVID-19 vaccination mandates for certain Illinois workers

(Springfield-jm) -- Here’s an update on COVID-19 vaccination mandates for certain Illinois workers. Under Governor J-B Pritzker’s orders, all pre-k through high school teachers and staff, college students and staff and healthcare workers were supposed to have received their first dose of the vaccine by this past Sunday, and be fully vaccinated within a month. He was asked Monday if this mandate will contribute to the current worker shortage…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Workers in this category who do not get vaccinated must submit to routine testing. As for state employees staffing prisons, veterans homes, nursing homes and the like, they now have until November 18th to get fully vaccinated. The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 8,415 new cases and 93 additional deaths since Friday. Iroquois County reported 83 new cases and 2 additional deaths bringing their total number of cases to 3,947 and deaths to 69. Champaign County reported 248 new cases and 1 additional death bringing their total number of cases to 25,849 and deaths to 183. Ford and Vermilion County’s did not have a report.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Gibson City police have released their recent activity report. On September 13th, Laurie Ferguson was arrested for driving under the influence and cited for improper lane usage, driving while license suspended and illegal transportation of alcohol. On September 17th, Daniel Leach was arrested for driving under the influence and cited for no valid driver’s license and improper lane usage. On September 18th, Adam Durham was arrested for an in-state warrant and Justin Durham was arrested for driving with a license suspended.

 

 

(Bloomington-jm) -- The Bloomington Police Department is continuing their search for a missing Illinois State graduate student. Officers said 25-year-old Jelani Day was reported missing almost a month ago. Day’s family and an ISU faculty member reported him missing after he did not show up for class for several days and no one could get hold of him. Day’s car was found on August 26 in Peru, IL. On September 5, search teams found a body in the Illinois River in that same city. The LaSalle County coroner said the body was a man; however, investigators said at this time that case is separate from Day’s.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- It was a warm week with plenty of time in the fields as we hear in the weekly crop report. The statewide average temperature this past week was more than 73 degrees, that’s seven degrees above normal. Below average rain left nearly all seven days available for fieldwork. Crop Statistician Steve Parn says 72 percent of corn is now mature…

 

 

Crop Statistician Steve Parn. 54 percent of soybeans are dropping leaves and one percent of the crop has been harvested. Average statewide topsoil moisture stands at 11 percent very short, 27 percent short, 61 percent adequate and one percent surplus.

 

 

(Champaign County-jm) -- The Champaign County Board of Review is down another member. Debbie Estes resigned citing a busy personal schedule and her belief it would affect her ability to adequately serve on the board. Estes is the fourth person to resign from the board after the entire three board group resigned in June.

 

 

(Livingston County-jm) -- Livingston County is reporting a case of West Nile Virus. According to the Livingston County Public Health Department, a bird in Dwight tested positive for west nile. West Nile has been detected in Iroquois, McLean and Vermilion Counties.

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Parkland College has implemented new COVID-19 safety standards and procedures this week to comply with the recent executive order from Governor Pritzker for higher education. In phase one, the college has been gathering vaccination status information from students and employees and has begun utilizing the Safer Community app to verify compliance status. While no student, employee, or visitor is being turned away at any entrance for noncompliance in this phase, the college is restricting the number of entrances to campus in preparation for a comprehensive entry-checking system that will utilize the Safer Community app for students and employees.



(Champaign County-jm) -- Champaign County Crime Stoppers is setting up a GoFundMe to raise money for Illegal Gun Bounty Reward Program rewards. The program asks for the community's help with information on felony gun crimes. It pays out $1,000 in rewards to those who have any tips or information on these crimes.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- It was a warm week with plenty of time in the fields as we hear in the weekly crop report. Below average rainfall and temperatures were seven degrees above normal gave farmers most of the week for fieldwork. 72 percent of corn is now mature and 11 percent has been harvested. Crop Statistician Steve Parn looks at soybeans…

 

 

Crop Statistician Steve Parn. 75 percent of the soybean crop is rated in good to excellent condition, an improvement from the previous week. Average statewide topsoil moisture declined to 11 percent very short, 27 percent short, 61 percent adequate and one percent surplus.

 

 

(Ford County-jm) -- The Ford County Board has approved changes to its wind farm ordinance. After four years, the moratorium on wind farms was lifted after the county board approved several changes including requiring setbacks of at least 2200 feet from property lines and 2.64 times the turbine tip or 1320 feet from adjacent non-participating properties. Also included in the ordinance is no turbines within one and a half miles of incorporated limits.

 

 

(Paxton - tr) -- The Gold Star Mission will be taking a 5 Day, 530 Mile Journey around central Illinois today to honor fallen Illinois Men and Women service members. Some local stops include the Gibson City American Legion at 12:11pm, Paxton Fire Department @ 2pm and Rantouls Lincoln’s Challenge academy a little after 3pm. The Gold Star mission strives to preserve the memories and ensure the names of our fallen illinois service men and women live on. 

 

Some state legislatures are discussing statues and other monuments at the state capitol

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois Department of Employment Security offices across the state are reopening. As of today, all 18 offices, called American Job Centers, will be open to the public by appointment, says Director Kristin Richards…

 

 

Illinois Department of Employment Security Director Kristin Richards. To make an appointment, call the IDES hotline at: 217-558-0401. You can also start your own job search and find other resources online at: illinois job link dot com.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Nearly 26 thousand new and probable cases of COVID-19 infection are being reported over the past week. There have also been 285 more COVID related deaths. At last count, a little over two thousand patients were in the hospital, and region five in southern Illinois has no ICU beds available, says Governor J-B Pritzker…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. 61 point 2 percent of Illinoisans age 12 and older are now fully vaccinated. Locally Friday, Vermilion County reported 98 new cases and 1 additional death. Champaign County reported 37 new cases. Ford County reported 43 new cases and 2 additional deaths. Iroquois County did not have a report Friday.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Champaign Police have arrested a Centennial High School student who reportedly displayed a gun inside the school. Police say Pereze Collier reportedly got into a verbal fight with other students on September 8th. Collier was taken to the Champaign County Jail on charges of making a threat to a school building or person. Bond was set at $500,000.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Some state legislatures are discussing statues and other monuments at the state capitol. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City is one of the members on the committee…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- A Rantoul man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for selling cocaine. Darryl Nelson received the sentence in Champaign County court after pleading guilty to possession with intent to deliver. A search of his home in 2019 uncovered 1.5 pounds of cocaine. A second charge of possession with intent to deliver was dismissed.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- This is National Farm Safety and Health Week. The week kicks off with a message to the public says Illinois Department of Agriculture Spokesperson Krista Lisser…

 

 

Illinois Department of Agriculture Spokesperson Krista Lisser. Lisser says while tractor rollovers are the leading cause of injuries and deaths in the industry, farmers are encouraged to also pay attention to the physical toll the work places on their bodies and the effects of job stress on their mental health.

 

 

(Vermilion County-jm) -- Vermilion County Clerk Cathy Jenkins is announcing nominating petitions for the 2022 general primary election will be available starting January 13th. Filing runs March 7-14. The primary election will take place June 28th.

 

(Undated-jm) -- Area vaccination numbers are lower compared to the state average. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City talks about the areas numbers…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Parkland College trustees approved their FY 22 budget recently and its not all good news. The Champaign based community college is reporting a deficit of $426,000.

 

Secretary of State Jesse White's Office is reminding drivers to report defective license plates

(Paxton-jm) -- Sean Hudson and Addison Oyer were named PBL homecoming king and queen last night following the parade. Ty Graham and Isabella Martinez were crowned homecoming prince and princess. The Panthers take on the Pontiac Indians tonight.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Secretary of State Jesse White’s Office is reminding drivers to report defective license plates. If your plates are rusty or the numbers and letters aren’t readable, it's time to get some new ones, says Secretary of State Spokesperson Beth Kaufman…

 

 

Secretary of State Spokesperson Beth Kaufman. You can request free replacements online at: il sos dot gov. Failure to have readable front and back plates on your vehicle can result in a fine of $164.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Two people have been arrested on drug charges in Rantoul. An officer on patrol on the village's west side saw a vehicle run the red light at Champaign Avenue and Murray Road. The officer stopped the vehicle and identified the driver as Courtney Stout, whose license was revoked. When she got out of the vehicle a digital scale fell and an officer discovered a bag containing 47.5 grams of cocaine. A passenger, Andrew Lewis, was arrested for possessing more than 100 grams of cannabis. Stout is charged with possession with intent to deliver cocaine. Lewis was charged with possession with intent to deliver cannabis. Both are due back in court September 24th.


 

(Champaign-jm) -- The New American Welcome Center at the University of Illinois YMCA unveiled a new plan to Champaign County residents on how best to welcome immigrants to their communities. The Welcoming Plan consists of five topics: economic integration and employment; citizenship and civic engagement; health and well-being; language and education; and public safety.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- What does USDA's latest outlook have regarding changes in pork production and price forecasts for this month? Rod Bain reports…

 

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- The Moyer District Library in Gibson City will have a new director. Sharon Heavilin announced she is retiring in November. Jessica Title will take over as director.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The number of people enrolled in the ACA Health Insurance marketplace more than doubled during the special COVID-19 enrollment period. Over 54 thousand people found a health insurance plan during the special period that ran from February 15th through August 15th. Get Covered Illinois Executive Director Laura Pellikan says this shows there really was a need...

 

 

Get Covered Illinois Executive Director Laura Pellikan. The next open enrollment period begins November 1st, although those without insurance that have a qualifying life experience such as having a baby may be able to enroll earlier. Visit get covered illinois dot gov for more information.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- A Rantoul man is facing multiple charges after a woman was shot last week. Deshawn Buford was arrested and charged with aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and aggravated fleeing and eluding police. According to police, as they investigated the shooting involving Bufford’s girlfriend, they received information he might be planning retaliatory action against the shooters. An officer located Buford’s vehicle and attempted to stop it, however he took off and tossed out a loaded gun before being apprehended.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- The Champaign County Chamber of Commerce is hosting a job fair next week. The Get Hired event is scheduled for September 21st from 10-3 at the Hilton Garden Inn. Over 40 businesses are participating.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- The trends of production and price for the beef sector are moving in opposite directions, per USDA's September outlook. Rod Bain reports…

 

 

Gibson City will host their Friday Night Fun Cruise Night tonight from 6-9 pm with Style in Stereo performing live music downtown.

 

Paxton IGA will be hosting their cookout benefiting the St. Peters Melvin Lutheran on Saturday from 10 to 2.

 

Paxton’s annual Swine n Dine will take place on Saturday.

 

The Buckley Fun Day will take place on Saturday at Buckley Lake.

Illinois Department of Employment Security paid out $155 million to Fraudulent Unemployment claims in the first 7 weeks

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinoisans will soon know exactly how much money was paid out in fraudulent unemployment claims during the pandemic. An audit of just the first seven weeks of the federal unemployment programs revealed that the Illinois Department of Employment Security gave about $155 million to fraudsters instead of unemployed Illinoisans.  At that rate over the full 69 weeks of the federal programs, more than $1.528 billion would be given out to fraudsters.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker says it’s important that everyone continue to mask up. While some COVID numbers may be holding fairly steady, they aren’t going down. With that in mind, the Governor chastised local officials who aren’t supporting the state’s indoor mask mandate…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. As for the latest daily totals, there are over 4,000 new cases and 44 additional deaths. More than 22 hundred COVID patients are in the hospital. One region of the state in Southern Illinois currently has little to no ICU beds available and a few other areas are down to 20 to 30 beds. Locally, Champaign County reported 51 new cases. Vermilion County reported 20 new cases and 3 additional deaths. Ford and Iroquois Counties did not have a report.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Champaign Police said they are looking for a teenager connected to an incident at Centennial High School last week. Champaign Police officials said that on September 8, officers went to the high school after getting a report that someone had a gun in the school. A preliminary investigation indicated 18-year-old Pereze Collier, a student at the high school, was in a verbal fight with other students. During the fight, witnesses saw Collier get what appeared to be a gun from his backpack. The gun was not fired. A warrant was issued for Collier’s arrest. Bond was set at $500,000.

 

 

(Watseka-jm) -- A candidate for Iroquois County Sheriff has received the endorsement of the county board. Clint Perzee announced he was running to replace retiring sheriff Derek Hagan. The county board announced Perzee will fill the rest of Hagan’s term when he retires at the end of the month.

 

(Washington-jm) -- How did USDA's recent revisions for soybean acreage and production estimates translate to the September U.S. and global balance sheets? Rod Bain reports…

 

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Two Illinois universities have been named among the top 10 in the country for 2022, according to the latest rankings from U.S. News & World Report. The annual Best Colleges ranking listed the University of Chicago at No. 6 in the nation. Northwestern University came in at No. 9. Also named on the list was the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, which ranked 47th.

 

 

(Champaign County-jm) -- METCAD 9-1-1 is actively seeking individuals interested in helping others to attend an upcoming Virtual Information Session to discuss career opportunities as a Telecommunicator, or Emergency Dispatcher. As a METCAD telecommunicator, one will be required to answer emergency and non-emergency phone calls and provide routine and emergency dispatch for local police, fire, and ambulance services across Champaign County. The session will be held via Zoom at 6 p.m. tonight. 



CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Parkland College's Board of Trustees has recognized faculty and staff award winners, received an update on the newest solar array, and approved the college's fiscal year 2022 budget.  At its regular meeting Wednesday, the board also received an update from Vice President for Student Services Michael Trame about recent measures the college has taken relating to COVID-19 and Governor Pritzker's Executive Order for vaccination and testing requirements for higher education.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- A new analysis puts Illinois near the bottom of the hardest working states in the country. The personal finance website WalletHub looked at more than 10 indicators from average work week hours to the share of workers with multiple jobs to determine the rankings. Illinois was ranked as the 43rd hardest-working state in the nation.

 

(Urbana-jm) -- Carle Health is hosting community influenza flu vaccine clinics beginning September. 21 through October 7 at various clinic locations throughout central Illinois. A walk-in clinic will also be held at Kohl’s Plaza, 1901 N. Market Street, Champaign on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. during the same time. Clinics will also be held in Danville on September 25 and October 2 from 8 a.m. - 2 p.m.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- The area's regional school superintendent has announced he will run for re-election in 2022. Gary Lewis has served as the regional school superintendent for Ford and Champaign Counties since he was elected in 2018.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- USDA recently took a look at the growth in recent years of crop insurance products designed for specialty crops and organic produced products. Rod Bain reports…

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Gibson city leaders will continue discussions on water rates next week. The water and sewer committee will meet at 5pm on Monday where they will continue discussions on whether to increase rates or not as well as discuss hydrant flushing and a new well.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The 2021 Mahomet Soda Fest will take place this Saturday in downtown Mahomet. Over 100 craft sodas will be available for tasting and purchasing. That’s not the only local festival taking place this weekend. The 2021 Buckley Fun Day will take place Saturday at Buckley Lake and the 2021 Paxton Swine n Dine BBQ Festival will take place in downtown Paxton.

 

Around $60 million for rental assistance is being made available through the Illinois Supreme Court

(Springfield-jm) -- County circuit court clerks from around the state may see a significant drop in funding from bail bond payments with the end of cash bail Jan. 1, 2023. That’s according to the Illinois Supreme Court. A report on the financial impact of elimination of cash bail in Illinois released shows bond payments statewide in 2016 totaled $153.2 million. That dropped to $121.9 million in 2020, the year court proceedings were delayed because of the pandemic.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White’s office is reminding Illinois drivers not having a readable plate can result in a $164 fine. Damaged or degraded plate owners can call White’s office for a replacement at no cost, the office said. 

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- This week is homecoming week for Paxton Buckley Loda. One of the traditions for homecoming week is the induction of the newest members of the hall of fame. PBL Schools Superintendent Cliff McClure talks about this year’s inductees…

 

 

PBL Schools Superintendent Cliff McClure.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 4,660 new Coronavirus cases Tuesday and 40 additional deaths. Vermilion County reported 17 new cases and 2 additional deaths bringing their total number of cases to 12,212 and deaths to 174. Champaign County reported 55 new cases and 2 additional deaths bringing their total number of cases to 25,513 and deaths to 182. Ford and Iroquois Counties did not have a report.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- The man accused of killing a 14-year-old in Champaign had his pre-trial in Champaign County Court on Tuesday. Daryl Vandyke is accused of murdering 14-year-old Steven Butler III. Prosecutors alleged that Vandyke used an axe or edged object to hit Butler repeatedly.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Constituents of the 53rd state district will have the chance to provide their input. Senator Jason Barickman will be hosting a series of town halls where the public can address issues that they have…

 

 

53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Ford County Sheriff Mark Doran has announced he will not run for re-election and will instead retire at the end of his term in 2022. Doran has been sheriff for 16 years. Paxton Police Captain Chad Johnson has announced his intention to run.

 

 

(Washington-jm) --  The U.S. was not the only country reporting expected corn production increases in September, per USDA's latest global supply and demand estimate. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- After passing a sweeping energy bill over the span of two special sessions, the Illinois Legislature is off until next month. Lawmakers are set to return for two weeks in October for the fall veto session, but there are no pending bills for them to take up. They could bring about entirely new legislation at that time.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Around $60 million for rental assistance is being made available through the Illinois Supreme Court. The Court-Based Rental Assistance Program or CBRAP is available to tenants and landlords across the state starting today. The court said the expedited payments are intended as a safety net for litigants on the brink of an eviction order.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- New census data shows Illinois continued to lose population and that is having an impact on the number of seats in Washington. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City explains what that could mean for you…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- A Rantoul man will spend a decade in federal prison for enticement of a minor. Michael Turner, 36, was sentenced on Tuesday to 10 years in prison, followed by 10 years of supervised release.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The 9th annual Paxton Swine n Dine will take place on Saturday, September 18th in downtown Paxton. Country Singer Michael Ray will perform that evening. Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce President Alan Meyer says  there is more than just BBQ at the festival…

 

 

Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce President Alan Meyer.

 

 

(Champaign County-jm) -- Several catalytic converters were stolen around Champaign County and now officers want information about those who took them. Between August 13th and 15th, four were stolen at Gordyville. Between August 23rd and 24th several were taken in Savoy. August 25th one was taken from the Maranatha Baptist Church in Rantoul. August 28th, two suspects attempted to take one from a vehicle at Serra Subaru in Savoy. Anyone with information is asked to call Champaign County Crimestoppers.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- New production updates from USDA meant additional changes in the U.S. corn ledger for this month. Rod Bain reports…

 

 

Corn harvesting is just beginning in Illinois

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Senate is voting in favor of new clean energy legislation. The measure aims for the state to be using 100 percent clean energy by 2050, requires municipally owned coal and natural gas plants to reduce carbon emissions to zero by 2045, offers a $4,000 rebate to those buying an electric car and includes money for Exelon to keep nuclear plants open. Senate President Don Harmon…

 

 

Senate President Don Harmon. The compromise package was already approved by the House and Governor J-B Pritzker says he will sign the bill into law as soon as possible.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting 9,152 new Coronavirus cases since Friday and 106 additional deaths. The seven day positivity rate is 5 percent. Locally since Friday, Vermilion County reported 88 new cases bringing their total to 12,195. Champaign County reported 204 new cases and 2 additional deaths bringing their total number of cases to 25,458 and deaths to 180. Iroquois County reported 107 new cases bringing their total to 3,864. Ford County did not have a report Monday.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Corn harvesting is just beginning in Illinois as we hear in the weekly crop report. One percent of corn acres have now been harvested, and 51 percent of the crop is mature. Statistician Mark Schleusener looks at soybeans…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. Average statewide topsoil moisture declined and is rated as 10 percent very short, 23 percent short, 65 percent adequate and two percent surplus.

 

 

(Minnesota-jm) -- The leader of an Illinois anti-government militia group who authorities say masterminded the 2017 bombing of a Minnesota mosque was sentenced Monday to 53 years in prison on several civil rights and hate crimes. Emily Claire Hari, who was previously known as Michael Hari faced a mandatory minimum of 30 years in prison for the attack on Dar al-Farooq Islamic Center. Hari was convicted in December on five counts, including damaging property because of its religious character and obstructing the free exercise of religious beliefs.

 

 

(Ford-Iro-C--jc) Harvest Season has officially started here in central Illinois. Ford-Iroquois Farm Bureau Manager David Treece says a few farmers are out and about but has no real numbers to share at this time…

 

 

Ford Iroquois Farm Bureau Manager David Treece.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Gibson City police have released their recent activity report. On September 11th, Buddy Anderson-Tackett of Gibson City was arrested for assault.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Parkland College and Walgreens will host a COVID-19 vaccination clinic in the Dodds Athletic Center from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. today.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- The production prospects for corn, soybeans and cotton look better than they did just a month ago. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker is announcing help for those who need child care in order to head back to work. Starting October 1st, eligible parents actively looking for a job can get three months of free daycare. Governor Pritzker says this will benefit families and the economy…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Additionally, eligible child care workers will get an up to one thousand dollar bonus and later this fall, early childhood providers will be able to apply for grants to help recruit and retain additional workers.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Corn harvesting is just beginning in Illinois as we hear in the weekly crop report. Starting with soybeans, Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says 63 percent of acres are turning color and 33 percent are dropping leaves…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 62 percent of the crop is rated in good to excellent condition, a slight decline from the previous week. Below normal rainfall meant average statewide topsoil moisture dropped to 10 percent very short, 23 percent short, 65 percent adequate and two percent surplus.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Ford County Soil and Water Conservation District will once again be holding their fall tree sale. Tree orders are due by October 8th. To place your order call 217-379-4388.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- As the harvest gets underway, Farm Safety could not be more important. Ford-Iroquois Farm Bureau Manager David Treece shares his message with a few ways to stay safe this harvest. 

 

 

Ford-Iroquois Farm Bureau Manager David Treece 

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Stock and Field stores will have a new name. R.P. Lumber bought the stores as part of a bankruptcy process last spring. The stores will now be called R.P. Home and Harvest. 

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Gas prices have fallen 8.7 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.05 per gallon. According to officials at Gasbuddy, the current gas prices are 23.0 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. 

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Corn, soybeans, and cotton production and yields forecasts were primarily adjusted up per USDA's latest crop production report. Rod Bain reports…

 

 

Sport team license plates have raised more than 13 million dollars for Illinois public schools

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is announcing more than five thousand new cases of COVID-19 Friday. The latest daily total is 5,309 and 47 additional deaths. 65 percent of Illinoisans age 12 and up are now fully vaccinated. Governor J-B Pritzker was asked about President Biden’s new vaccine mandates…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Under the Governor’s own mandate, all teachers and staff at preschools through 12th grade, all college staff and students and health care workers must get their first shot by September 19th or submit to regular testing. Locally Friday Vermilion County reported 42 new cases and 1 additional death. Champaign County reported 117 new cases and 2 additional deaths. Ford County reported 69 new cases and 2 additional deaths. Iroquois County did not have a report.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Sport team license plates have raised more than 13 million dollars for Illinois public schools. More than 71 thousand vehicles in Illinois are adorned with plates representing favorite sports teams, with 25 dollars from each purchase and renewal going to education. Secretary of State Jesse White’s Spokesperson Beth Kaufman says some teams are more popular than others…

 

 

Secretary of State Spokesperson Beth Kaufman. The least popular plates are the Chicago Bulls and the St. Louis Cardinals, although Kaufman says Illinois has more Cardinals license plates on the roads than Missouri.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- School districts are starting to plan how they will spend federal COVID aid money. One of those districts is Paxton-Buckley-Loda. Superintendent Cliff McClure says they are seeking input on some potential project ideas…

 

 

PBL Schools Superintendent Cliff McClure.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Dozens of motorcyclists roared through several towns Sunday as part of the 9-11 Memorial Ride. The group started in Danville before making stops in Hoopeston, Rankin, Paxton, Ludlow, Rantoul, Gifford, Potomac before heading back to Danville.

 

 

(Paxton--jc) --An upcoming blood drive will be held at the 1st Lutheran Church here in Paxton today. Kevin Hansen is in charge of coordinating the drive, and shares some details for those who would like to donate….

 

 

Blood Drive Coordinator Kevin Hansen 

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- There are several meetings scheduled for tonight. At 6pm in Rantoul, the high school school board will hear a presentation on their tentative capital development program and approve the fiscal year 2022 budget. At 7 in Gibson City, the city council will review a recycling contract, consider changing credit card companies and consider new welcome signs. At 7 at the Cornbelt Fire Station in Mahomet, the Mahomet Seymour school board and village of Mahomet will hold a joint meeting to discuss the shared tennis courts. At 7 in Paxton, the Ford County board will consider revisions to the wind farm ordinance, and consider highway tax appropriations for townships. In Roberts at 7:30, village leaders will discuss whether to continue spraying for mosquitos, consider hiring a new ordinance officer and continue discussions of ambulance services.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritkzer is announcing a 50 million dollar grant program to help revitalize downtown and main street areas. The idea is to kickstart projects in areas really struggling over the last year and a half, with grant awards ranging from 250 thousand to three million dollars, says Governor Pritzker…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Projects can range from downtown plazas to structural repairs. The deadline to apply for these grants is January 10th. Visit the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s website for more information.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Republican lawmakers continue to criticize the state budget passed in May. The over 3,000 page bill was passed in the middle of the night with not much time for debate and included a critical error that brought lawmakers back a month later. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City says there was further evidence of that last month…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

(Urbana-jm) -- Urbana police are investigating a pair of weekend deaths. Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup says Alura Yarber died after she struck several cars and a large tree on Anderson Street. Kendall Jones died at Carle Foundation Hospital after being shot multiple times. Autopsies for both Yarber and Jones are scheduled for tomorrow.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Republicans continue to fight for additional ethics reforms in Springfield. An ethics reform package was approved in the spring session, however, 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington says it wasn’t enough…

 

 

53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington.

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