(Springfield-jm) – New legislation lets multiple occupancy restrooms be used by all genders. Currently, it’s technically illegal to have a public restroom with more than one stall be open to all genders. A bill from Representative Katie Stuart of Edwardsville doesn’t require the change but sets standards for places that wish to establish gender neutral bathrooms…
State Representative Katie Stuart of Edwardsville. The measure has been approved by a House committee and now faces a vote on the House floor. State law already allows single occupant restrooms to be gender neutral.
(Springfield-jm) – Hunters in Illinois harvested a preliminary total of 158,010 deer during all of 2022-2023 archery and firearm seasons that concluded Jan. 15. The total deer harvest for all seasons is an increase of more than 11,000 deer from the year before. Hunters took about 45% females and 55% males. Sixteen northern Illinois counties were open to the special CWD season, which is used to assist in slowing the spread of chronic wasting disease in the Illinois deer herd.
(Springfield-jm) – The Illinois Lottery is announcing record sales for the first half of the fiscal year. The lottery posted one point eight billion dollars in sales from last July through December. The increase was driven by two jackpots, Mega Millions and Powerball, both worth over a billion bucks. To add to the excitement, a winning ticket was sold in Illinois, says Director Harold Mays…
Illinois Lottery Director Harold Mays. The lottery also made millionaires out of 34 Illinois players during the six month period.
(Springfield-jm) – The Illinois Supreme Court on March 14 will hear the appeal of a lower court's ruling that the state's no-cash bail law is unconstitutional. The law was put on hold by the state's high court just before it was to take effect statewide Jan. 1. A Kankakee County judge found the law unconstitutional after dozens of state's attorneys sued to block the measure.
(Springfield-jm) – Senate Bill 1393 advanced through the Senate Local Government Committee on Wednesday. The bill proposes to lower the minimum population required for a county to create or maintain an office of county auditor from 75,000 inhabitants to 70,000 inhabitants. It’s sponsored by State Senator Paul Faraci of Champaign…
State Senator Paul Faraci.
(Undated-jm) – Heavy rain yesterday caused flooding across the area. Several roads throughout Ford and Iroquois County had water over them. The National Weather Service reported up to 4 inches of rain had fallen across the area.
(Undated-jm) – Emergency crews around the area were busy Wednesday afternoon. Paxton crews were called to a car versus semi accident on I-57 south of Paxton. Ludlow crews were called to an accident on Route 45 on the southeast side of town. Traffic had to be diverted through Ludlow.
(Paxton–jc) – The city of Paxton is paying off a working bond early. That means some savings says Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold…
Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold. The city will save over 27 thousand dollars with the early payment.
(Urbana-jm) – An Urbana man has been sentenced to 6 and a half years in prison for having a loaded gun during a traffic stop. Raytrell McDonald received the sentence in Champaign County court after a trooper stopped the vehicle he was a passenger in for a traffic violation on Route 45 near Thomasboro. In exchange for his guilty plea, a charge of aggravated battery to a police officer was dismissed. Authorities say McDonald allegedly shoved the trooper into traffic and fled.
(Urbana-jm) – Carle Foundation Hospital is unveiling new safety equipment. The hospital’s emergency room has a new weapon detection system. The hospital says it will protect the safety of both patients and staff.
(Washington-jm) – The USDA is surveying farmers about their planting plans. Gary Crawford reports…
(Springfield-jm) – Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul’s office is warning the public about earthquake relief related scams. If you’re looking to support earthquake victims in Turkey and Syria, be careful about where you are sending your donations, says Charitable Trust Bureau Chief Kristin Louis…
Charitable Trust Bureau Chief Kristin Louis. Louis says you should be wary of people soliciting you for donations in cash or who can’t explain exactly how the money will be spent. She notes that legitimate charities will be able to provide written information about their group.
(Springfield-jm) – The Illinois Department of Agriculture is encouraging Illinois farmers to set aside time to recognize Grain Bin Safety Week this week and review safety practices while working in and around grain bins. According to researchers at Purdue University, more than 900 cases of grain engulfment have been reported with a fatality rate of 62% in the past 50 years ending in 2010. Officials said it only takes 4 seconds for a full grown adult to sink to their knees in flowing grain and 20 seconds to be completely buried in grain.
(Springfield-jm) – The 3-0-9 telephone region is getting an additional area come Friday. The current 3-0-9 area code covers several counties including Henry, McLean, Rock Island, Peoria, Tazewell, Whiteside and Stark. A new 8-6-1 overlay will also be put into use, but probably not for several months, says George Light with the Illinois Commerce Commission…
George Light with the Illinois Commerce Commission. When an overlay is activated, Light says that usually means people in the area will need to dial 10 digits instead of 7. But since the 9-8-8 suicide hotline was launched last year, everyone is already dialing the full phone number.
(Springfield-jm) – Last week in his annual State of the State/Budget Address, Gov. J.B. Pritzker revealed his 2024 budget proposal — laying out a vision for a second term in office that includes ambitious funding plans for early childhood education and higher education. However, State Representative Dan Calkins pointed to figures that show State General Fund Spending for education in 2019 was at $8.4 billion, and $9.3 billion in 2022. At the same time, students reading at grade level dropped from 37% in 2019 to 30% in 2022. It also showed students doing math at grade level in 2019 at 32%, and dropping to only 26% in 2022….
State Representative Dan Caulkins of Decatur.
(Urbana-jm) – Champaign County’s municipal elections may be 40 days away, but people can vote as early as today as polls open at the Brookens Administrative Center. Brookens, located at 1776 East Washington Street in Urbana, will be operating a polling location in its Putman Meeting Room. Any eligible voter will be able to vote there regardless of their home precinct or what location is listed on their voter registration card.
(Urbana-jm) – A University of Illinois Police officer was credited with saving a person last week when that person fell unresponsive from an apparent overdose. U of I Police officials said the incident happened Friday night at the McDonald’s located near campus at 616 East Green Street. The officer administered Narcan to the individual, whose health stabilized following this intervention.
(Rantoul–jc) If you have seen some lights on at night at the Rantoul Sports Complex, there is a good reason. It’s the start of a busy season on Rantoul’s west side. Rantoul Mayor Chuck Smith says Parkland College’s baseball team played games in Rantoul this past Saturday…
Rantoul Mayor Chuck Smith. Parkland College’s baseball team will also have games at the Rantoul Sports Complex early Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon.
(Urbana-jm) – The Grainger College of Engineering at the University of Illinois is in the process of bringing nuclear energy back to campus for the first time in 25 years. Through the Department of Nuclear, Plasma & Radiological Engineering, the university is applying for a license to construct and operate a new microreactor on campus for research purposes. A microreactor is a small reactor that utilizes a fission chain reaction to produce one to 20 megawatts of heat energy. It would be underground and near the Abbott Power Plant on the west side of the school near the railroad tracks in Champaign. The university previously operated one from 1960 to 1998.
(Hoopeston-jm) – A Hoopeston woman was arrested for retail theft. Patrice Booker was arrested by Hoopeston Police after being called in reference to a theft at the Dollar General.
(Washington-jm) – Cattle producers now have a new tool that could help them make better and more informed marketing decisions. Gary Crawford reports…
Over 670,000 FFA students will be participating in FFA Week across the country. WPXN was able to talk with several students from area FFA Chapters. Sophia Roelfs from the Rantoul High School’s FFA Chapter talks about what is going on today.
Rantoul FFA Member Sophia Roelfs
Victoria Colatta Fisher High School’s FFA Chapter talks about what is going on today.
Fisher FFA member Victoria Colatta
Lexi Putnam from the PBL High School’s FFA Chapter talks about what is going on today.
PBL FFA Member Lexi Putnam
We were also able to talk with Jay Coker from Iroquois West’s FFA Chapter.
Iroquois West FFA Member Jay Coker
Morgan Sinn from Cissna Park High School’s FFA Chapter talks about what is going on today.
Cissna Park FFA Member Morgan Sinn