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WPXN Blog

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

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold.

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

Champaign County Forest Preserve President Andrew Kerins. 

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

 

Champaign County Chamber of Commerce Marketing Director Lindsay Quick.

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

Champaign-Urbana Public Health District Administrator Julie Pryde.

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

Gibson City Mayor Dan Dickey.

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

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High school basketball will likely not happen this winter

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

Champaign County Farm Bureau Manager Brad Uken. 

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold.

Work on that project continues today.

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

Rantoul Village Administrator Scott Eisenhower.

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

Ford Iroquois Farm Bureau Manager David Treece.

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

Champaign County Forest Preserve Vice President Sarah Livesay. 

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

Champaign-Urbana Public Health District Administrator Julie Pryde.

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

Gibson City Mayor Dan Dickey.

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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


 

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

 

 

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

 

 

Rantoul Village Administrator Scott Eisenhower.

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

State Climatologist Trent Ford.

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

GCMS Schools Superintendent Jeremy Darnell.

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

Rantoul Village Administrator Scott Eisenhower.

 

 

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

 

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

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

 

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

Gibson City Mayor Dan Dickey.

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

Ford Iroquois Farm Bureau Manager David Treece.

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

GCMS Schools Superintendent Jeremy Darnell.

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

Champaign-Urbana Public Health District Administrator Julie Pryde.

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

Champaign County Clerk Aaron Ammons.

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

PBL FFA Member Maci Kingren. 

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

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

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

Rantoul Village Administrator Scott Eisenhower.

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington.

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

Gibson City Mayor Dan Dickey.

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

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Preliminary fall enrollment data shows fewer students are enrolling in community colleges across Illinois

(Springfield-jm) -- Preliminary fall enrollment data shows fewer students are enrolling in community colleges across Illinois in the latest enrollment report compiled by the Illinois Community College Board. The 2020 Fall Enrollment Report shows total fall enrollment throughout Illinois’ Community College System is down 13.7 percent compared to last year in enrollment for the fall semester.  Preliminary data indicates enrollment of students over age 30 decreased at twice the rate as compared to students younger than 30.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois unemployment rate continues to fall. September was the third month in a row for a decline in the state’s jobless rate says Illinois Department of Employment Security Spokesperson Rebecca Cisco...

 

 

Illinois Department of Employment Security Spokesperson Rebecca Cisco. Unfortunately the state lost about 12 thousand jobs last month, especially in the professional and business services, government and health and education sectors. The national unemployment rate for September came in at seven point nine percent.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 4,554 new Coronavirus cases Friday and 38 additional deaths bringing the state’s total number of cases to 336,174 and deaths to 9,165. Locally, McLean County reported 35 new cases bringing their total number to 3,782. Champaign County reported 81 new cases bringing their total number to 5,505. Ford County reported 2 new cases bringing their total number to 232. Livingston County reported 16 new cases bringing their total to 542. Kankakee County reported 39 new cases bringing their total to 3,115. Vermilion County reported 40 new cases bringing their total to 1,251. Iroquois County reported 4 new cases bringing their total to 485.

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Lincoln’s Challenge in Rantoul is reporting an outbreak at their facility. 29 cadets and 5 staff members have tested positive for the Coronavirus. The 97 cadets were tested after a staff member tested positive. Those that were positive have been separated from the others and the entire academy is being sanitized.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Grace period voting begins today in Champaign County. County Clerk Aaron Ammons explains grace period voting and what you need to do…

 

 

Champaign County Clerk Aaron Ammons.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- A Paxton home was damaged by fire early Saturday morning. Firefighters from Paxton, Loda and Buckley were called to the house in the 300 block of E. Chestnut around 5:30 Saturday morning. No word on the cause of the fire or how much damage was caused.

 

(Onarga-jm) -- The Seminary Street railroad crossing in Onarga is closed starting today. The Canadian National Railroad is redoing the crossing. The closure is expected to last 7-10 days.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- A University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign told police he was the victim of identity theft. According to U of I Police, a student reported that someone used his name, birth date, and Social Security number to purchase a cellphone contract.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Ford County Public Health Department is offering the flu vaccine again this year. With the COVID-19 pandemic, Brandi Williams with the Ford County Public Health Department says they are doing things a little different than normal…

 

 

Ford County Public Health Department Spokesperson Brandi Williams. To make your appointment, call 379-9281.

 

 

(Cissna Park-jm) -- Cissna Park firefighters were called to a combine fire early Friday afternoon. Crews were called to the fire at 1133 and 400 just after noon. No injuries were reported.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Construction on the Ed Day skatepark in Gibson City continues. The $180,000 project is being built at West Park and was named after the former alderman who died days after being elected to the council. Leaders hope the project will be completed by the end of the month.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Forecasted corn yields across the country reach record highs -- nationally, and in a dozen states. Stephanie Ho has the details…

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Should Illinois voters remove the state’s constitutional requirement that all income be taxed at the same flat rate, a new report estimated the state would become one of the nation’s worst destinations in terms of business competitiveness. The nonprofit Tax Foundation analyzed the progressive tax ballot initiative, along with the rate structure lawmakers approved on the condition of its passage. Should the measure succeed next month, the report said the subsequent changes would send Illinois from 36th-worst to 47th-worst in the nation in terms of its "state business tax climate index," which measures each state’s tax structure against others in factors important to job creators. 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- It’s been a dry fall so far in Illinois. According to the U-S Drought Monitor, the bottom half and nearly all of the eastern border in Illinois is either abnormally dry or in a moderate drought. That makes sense given the latest rain totals says State Climatologist Trent Ford…

 

 

State Climatologist Trent Ford. Ford says the dry weather has been good for crop harvesting, although soil moisture will need replenishing for the spring planting season.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 4,554 new Coronavirus cases Friday and 38 additional deaths bringing the state’s total number of cases to 336,174 and deaths to 9,165. As for local active and recovered cases from Friday, McLean County reported 3,459 have recovered, 282 are in isolation with 11 hospitalized. Champaign County reported 5,113 have recovered, 364 are in isolation and 5 are hospitalized. Ford County reported 155 have been released from isolation, 61 remain in isolation and 7 are hospitalized. Livingston County reported 483 have been removed from isolation, 50 remain in isolation and 1 is hospitalized. Kankakee County reported 2,622 have recovered, 418 cases remain active with 18 hospitalized. Vermilion County reported 979 have been released from isolation, 255 remain in isolation with 9 hospitalized. Iroquois County reported 408 have been released from isolation, 57 remain in isolation and 1 is hospitalized.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Two area counties also reported additional deaths Friday. Ford County reported two new deaths, a man in his 90’s and a woman in her 80’s. Champaign County also reported one additional death, a woman in her 60’s with underlying health conditions.

 

 

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

 

 

Champaign County Chamber of Commerce Marketing Director Lindsay Quick.

 

 

(Watseka-jm) -- Several fire departments were called to a fire on Watseka’s west side Saturday evening. The fire happened at D&S Excavating on outskirts of Watseka just before 7 pm. No word on the cause of that fire.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Work on a portion of road in northwest Champaign is expected to begin again this week. IDOT announced work on I-57 at the Mattis Avenue bridge will resume October 20th with lane closures. IDOT says southbound lanes will be closed October 20th and 21st from 10 pm to 6 am while northbound lanes will be closed October 22nd from 10 pm to 6 am. Its part of the reconstruction of the I-57/I-74 interchange project.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Another Target is opening in Champaign-Urbana, this time in Campustown. The franchise is set to open on Sunday, October 25, at 706 S. 6th St. The new location is a two-story building with approximately 17,000 square feet.

 

 

(Paxton-cf)-- The PBL FFA Chapter is hosting the Discover Ag Day Camp over the next few weeks. The class is full, however the kids participating will not be at the high school. FFA Member Christina White has the details… 

 

 

PBL FFA Member Christina White. The first lesson will take place Thursday October 22.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Paxton first responders were called to a two vehicle rollover accident late Friday morning. Crews were called to the accident at Patton and Union just before noon. No injuries were reported. Onarga first responders were called to a single vehicle accident on I-57 south of Onarga. No word on if there were any injuries.

 

 

(Ashkum-jm) -- District 21 Illinois State Police have released results of a pair of enforcement patrols. During criminal enforcement patrols, 33 citations and 36 written warnings were issued including 4 for civil cannabis and 1 for DUI. 4 criminal arrests were also made along with 5 warrant arrests. During Alcohol Countermeasure Enforcement Patrols, 1 person was cited for drug or alcohol related offenses, 4 were cited for registrations offenses, 11 for drivers license offenses and 2 for insurance offenses.

 

 

 

 

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The Illinois Department of Public Health reported Thursday a record daily high of new COVID-19 cases

(Springfield-jm) -- More than 530,000 mail in ballots have already been mailed in. That’s from the more than 2.2 million ballots that were requested and sent to voters. Illinois State Board of Elections spokesman Matt Dietrich said mail in ballots received by local elections officials before the close of the election Nov. 3 will be counted after the polls close. Ballots with postmarks of Nov. 3 will be counted up to two weeks after.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- As we head through October, many of us across Illinois will remember the early snow that we had last Halloween now we are looking ahead to what this winter might bring to Central Illinois. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center predicts wetter-than-average conditions are most likely across the northern tier of the U.S., extending from the Pacific Northwest, across the Northern Plains, Great Lakes and into the Ohio Valley. As for temperatures, there’s equal chances for below-, near- or above-average temperatures for our area.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health reported Thursday a record daily high of new COVID-19 cases. Four thousand 15 new cases have been confirmed and 53 additional deaths. That’s the highest one day total since more than 53 hundred new cases were reported on September 4th due to a backlog in tests. Earlier this week Governor J-B Pritzker warned the public that the virus is still dangerous…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Long term effects include breathing problems and exhaustion. The statewide test positivity rate has now risen to four point nine percent, with higher numbers seen in many communities.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Locally, McLean County reported 3 new cases bringing their total to 3,747. Champaign County reported 65 new cases bringing their total to 5,424. Livingston County reported 13 new cases bringing their total to 526. Ford County reported 4 new cases bringing their total to 230. Vermilion County reported 59 new cases and 1 additional death bringing their total number of cases to 1,211 and deaths to 8. Kankakee County reported 40 new cases and 1 additional death bringing their total number of cases to 3,076 and deaths to 75. Iroquois County reported 9 new cases bringing their total number of cases to 481.

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

(Bellflower-jm) -- Two Bellflower men are facing meth charges. Paul Gilligan is charged with unlawful possession of between 400 and 900 grams of meth with intent to deliver, 3 counts of unlawful delivery of between 15 and 100 grams of meth, 1 count of unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon and 1 count of unlawful possession of firearm ammunition by a felon. Justin Abbott  is charged with unlawful possession of 100-400 grams of meth with the intent to deliver and unlawful possession of meth for the same quantity. They could face federal charges as well.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker  announced the U.S. Small Business Administration has approved the state’s request for federal assistance to help businesses and private non-profits in more than 60 counties recover from economic injury stemming from civil unrest that took place in Illinois between May 26 and July 30. Small businesses in Champaign, Ford, McLean, Kankakee and Vermilion Counties are eligible.

 

 

(Paxton-cf)-- The Paxton Emergency Response Service will be hosting three Chili Suppers in the coming weeks. The first supper will be held Thursday October 22, Paxton ERS Volunteer Jason Madden has the details… 

 

 

Paxton ERS Volunteer Jason Madden. There will also be membership forms available if you are interested in joining the ERS. 

 

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(Undated-jm) -- Apex Clean Energy along with the Ford Ridge Windfarm have awarded 9 grants from their community grant program funds to area organizations. Those receiving grants include the Gibson City Rotary Club, the Ed Day Memorial Skate Park fund, the Gibson City Restoration Committee, Tri-Point School District, Gibson Area Food Pantry at the hospital, Bayles Lake Homeowners Association, the Gibson City Melvin Sibley School District, Jeremiah 33:6 and the Sibley Business and Historical Association.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- What's the global situation for corn? Stephanie Ho reports…

 

 

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

 

The Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a Holiday Shop Hop on Saturday from 9 to 6.

 

Paxton IGA will be hosting a cookout benefiting Toys for Tots on Saturday from 10-2.

(Springfield-jm) -- October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and the Illinois Lottery is joining the fight against breast cancer with an instant ticket. This is the 15th year for the "Carolyn Adams Ticket for the Cure." The ticket was named for former Illinois Lottery Superintendent Carolyn Adams, who died of breast cancer in 2007. It costs $3 and features a top prize of $50,000.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Across Illinois, school districts are seeing a shortage of substitute teachers. Based on the most recent survey from 2017, the Illinois Association of Regional Superintendent of Schools found that 53% of school districts reported a shortage of substitute teachers. 

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- As for local active and recovered cases, McLean County reported 3,424 have recovered, 281 are in isolation and 12 are hospitalized. Champaign County reported 5,080 have recovered, 317 are in isolation and 5 are hospitalized. Livingston County reported 475 have been removed from isolation, 42 cases are active with 1 hospitalized. Ford County reported 155 have recovered, 63 are in isolation with 5 hospitalized. Vermilion County reported 940 have been released from isolation, 254 remain in isolation and 9 are hospitalized. Kankakee County reported 2,609 have recovered, 392 cases are active with 14 hospitalized. Iroquois County reported 404 have been released from isolation, 56 are in isolation with 2 hospitalized.

 

 

(Ashkum-jm) -- Illinois State Police District 21 in Ashkum will be conducting Nighttime Enforcement Patrols during the month of October. WPXN’s Jason Madden has the details…

 

 

 

(Watseka-jm) -- One person is hospitalized and a home a total loss following a fire in Watseka Thursday. Firefighters were called to the fire on W. Iroquois Street. Officials believe an electrical issue caused the fire.

 

 

(Danville-jm) -- Vermilion County will once again host a free mobile COVID-19 clinic. The clinic will start Monday and run through October 25th at the Vermilion County Public Health Department in Danville. Hours for the clinic are 9 to 4:30.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Schools in Illinois have been in session for about two months already. The 2020-2021 school year looks different compared to others because of the Coronavirus pandemic. 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington says schools have done a good job adapting to the changes without much help from Springfield…

 

 

53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Congressman John Shimkus is accepting applications for military service academy nominations. To be eligible: applicants must be American citizens at least 17 but not more than 23 years of age, not married or have legal obligations of child support and must live within the 15th Congressional District. Applications are due by October 30th and can be obtained by calling his office at 618-288-7190.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Eligible producers now have until March 15th to make elections and enroll in either of USDA's Farm Bill safety net programs for the 2021 crop year. Rod Bain reports…

 

 

Christie Clinic will be hosting a drive thru flu clinic on Saturday from 7 to noon at their location on Windsor.

 

The Vermilion County Public Health Department is hosting a free electronics recycling event for Vermilion County residents only on Saturday from 9 to 11 am at Danville Area Community College.

 

The Cissna Park FFA Chapter will hold a harvest lunch on Saturday from 11-2 at the high school cafeteria, then they will hold a trunk or treat from 2-4 pm in the high school parking lot.

 

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New COVID-19 cases reached over 26 hundred for the eighth day in a row in Illinois

(Springfield-jm) -- New COVID-19 cases reached over 26 hundred for the eighth day in a row in Illinois. With more new cases, the statewide test positivity rate has risen to four point six percent. Governor J-B Pritzker says all 11 designated regions in Illinois have seen recent increases…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Stricter COVID safety rules remain in place and region one, the Rockford-Dixon-Galena area, and may soon be in place if numbers don’t improve in region five, located in southern Illinois.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Locally, Vermilion County reported 40 new cases bringing their total number to 1,152. Ford County reported 7 new cases and one additional death bringing their total number of cases to 226 and deaths to 7. Livingston County reported 6 new cases bringing their total number to 513. Iroquois County reported 9 new cases bringing their total to 472. McLean County reported 44 new cases bringing their total to 3,744. Kankakee County reported 21 new cases bringing their total to 3,036. Champaign County reported 28 new cases bringing their total to 5,359.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is offering guidance for getting through the holidays safely amidst the pandemic. The holidays are often a time for parties and getting together with family. But with the Coronavirus still going strong, this year is going to take some extra planning says State Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike...

 


 

State Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike. Dr Ezike advises everyone to wear a mask when not eating or drinking, hosting gatherings outside if the weather allows and increasing air flow inside by cracking the windows. She says it’s also a good idea to skip the buffet style dinner this year and have just one person serving the food.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Secretary of State Jesse White’s Office is offering a new email service for those hoping to restore their driving privileges. If you’re looking to get your license back, you no longer have to go in and meet with an informal hearing officer to get the process started. Secretary of State Spokesperson Beth Kaufman says now you can just email their office…

 

 

Secretary of State Spokesperson Beth Kaufman. Once the email is received, customers can expect to hear back within three days. Several other services are also available online at: cyber drive illinois dot com.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Gibson Area Hospital is announcing the passing of a popular doctor. Dr. Foellner passed away Tuesday night. He had been a doctor at the Paxton clinic for several decades. Dr. Foellner was 79 years old.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- A holiday shop hop will take place this Saturday in downtown Rantoul. The shop hop will take place from 9 to 6 and is being put on by the Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce and local business owners says Chamber Director Amanda Vickery…

 

 

Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Amanda Vickery.

 

 

(Vermilion County-jm) -- Vermilion County residents with unwanted electronics will have the opportunity to get rid of them in October. The Vermilion County Public Health Department is hosting a free electronics recycling event on Saturday, October 17th from 9-11 am at Danville Area Community College.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Ford County Public Health Department is encouraging the public to get their flu vaccine this year. Flu season is just around the corner and with the COVID-19 pandemic many of the health departments flu clinics aren’t happening. Brandi Williams with the Ford County Public Health Department says they are offering them at the health department…

 

 

Ford County Public Health Department Spokesperson Brandi Williams. To schedule your appointment, call the Ford County Public Health Department at 217-379-9281.

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Paxton police have released their recent activity report. On October 13th, Patrick Miller of Urbana was arrested for driving on a suspended license and possession of a controlled substance following a traffic stop at Ottawa and Vermilion. October 12th, Chase Hochrein of Paxton was arrested for driving on a suspended license after a traffic stop on S. Market St. Also on October 12th, Walter Achila DeLeon of Urbana was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol and driving with no valid drivers license and ticketed for improper lane usage following a traffic stop at Market and Franklin. On October 6th, Chad Matherne of Paxton, Sarah Hoover of Paxton and an unidentified 17 year old from Bloomington were arrested and charged with home invasion and battery for allegedly entering an apartment and battering the resident on September 29th. The 17 year old also faces additional charges of intimidation of a witness, criminal damage to property and obstruction of justice.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- China has stepped up purchases of almost every U.S. agricultural product. Some of the percentage increases are huge. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- An Illinois Senate committee is tackling the issue of prison reform. The group met to hear from experts about racing disparities, reducing recidivism rates and inmate re-entry into society. That includes Victor Dickson, President of the Safer Foundation, who says people with records more frequently experience socio-economic issues…

 

 

Safer Foundation President Victor Dickson. Dickson says community based services for those who have recently been released are key to stopping the cycle of re-incarceration. Others discussed the need for more diversion programs, directing people in trouble with the law towards support programs instead of being sent behind bars.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- With just hours left until the deadline, Governor J-B Pritzker is making a final push for Illinoisans to fill out the 2020 census. The census is ending, but it’s more important than ever to be counted says Governor J-B Pritzker. He says he’s disappointed in the most recent court ruling bumping up the deadline…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Governor Pritzker says an accurate count is vital to ensuring Illinois gets its share of federal money and for representation in Congress. Visit: my 2020 census dot gov.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Area fire departments were busy with fire calls yesterday. Dry weather combined with strong winds made yesterday ideal for field fires. Sibley and Cropsey fire were called to a combine fire on Route 165 near 100E. Paxton firefighters were called to a combine fire at 675 North 1600 East. Gibson City, Fisher and Rantoul responded to a field fire at Route 136 and Route 49. Gibson City and Elliott firefighters handled a field fire 1 mile west of Gibson City along Route 9. 13 departments were also called to several fields on fire near Danforth. Fire officials that fire stretched 4 miles before being contained.

 

 

(Urbana-cf)-- Now is the time to get your flu shot. It takes about two weeks after the time of your flu vaccine to take effect to build immunity to the virus Champaign-Urbana Public Health District Administrator Julie Pryde has the details… 

 

 

Champaign-Urbana Public Health District Administrator Julie Pryde.

 

 

(Pesotum-jm) -- District 10 Illinois State Police in Pesotum have announced they will be conducting occupant restraint enforcement patrols throughout the month of October. Patrols will take place at various locations and dates throughout the month. Troopers will be looking for those not wearing their seat belt.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Champaign County voters listen up. There are some upcoming deadlines if you want to vote in the upcoming election says County Clerk Aaron Ammons…

 

 

Champaign County Clerk Aaron Ammons.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- A Rantoul hair salon looking to move, is not moving to where they originally thought about moving. Shear Excellence had intended to buy and renovate the former Logan’s Pub building. However, after an inspection, the company announced they are going to pursue the former Action Rents building instead. Shear Excellence requested revolving loan funds from the village of Rantoul.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- What are some of the commodities China is currently purchasing from the U.S. as part of the Phase One Trade Agreement? Rod Bain reports…

 

 

 

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The state has now collected more than one million dollars in taxes from the sale of recreational marijuana in Illinois

(Springfield-jm) -- Supporters of changing the state’s flat income tax are using a fake Twitter account posing as an opponent to promote the progressive tax. The Vote Yes For Fairness group which is heavily funded by Governor J.B. Pritzker shared a screenshot on Facebook Oct. 9 of a tweet from Liz Uihlein critical of the amendment. Uihlein’s publicist said it was a fake account. Pritzker gave Vote Yes for Fairness $56.5 million so far this year.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The backlogs for Firearm Owner Identification Cards are getting longer, up to an average of 116 days, and even longer for concealed carry cards. As the backlogs increase, lawsuits against the state are also stacking up. Illinois State Police say the average time for FOID card processing is 116.35 days. FOID cards are supposed to be processed within 30 days. For Concealed Carry Licenses with fingerprints to go with the applications, ISP said the average time is 129.9 days. Without fingerprints with the application, it’s 154.19 days. The state is facing 12 active lawsuits over the delays, the Illinois State Rifle Association said.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The state has now collected more than one million dollars in taxes from the sale of recreational marijuana in Illinois. That total is for the first eight months of this year, with a chunk of the money going to local governments says Illinois Department of Revenue Spokesperson Sam Salustro…

 

 

Illinois Department of Revenue Spokesperson Sam Salustro. The tax money will also be used for things like substance abuse and mental health treatment and to invest in communities hit hard by the war on drugs.


 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 2,851 new Coronavirus cases Tuesday and 39 additional deaths bringing the state’s total number of cases to 324,743 and deaths to 9,026. Since Monday was a holiday, health departments were closed, so locally since Friday, McLean County reported 194 new cases and 4 additional deaths bringing their total number of cases to 3,700 and deaths to 30. Champaign County reported 144 new cases bringing their total to 5,331. Ford County reported 38 new cases bringing their total to 219. Vermilion County reported 79 new cases bringing their total to 1,112. Livingston County reported 21 new cases bringing their total to 507. Kankakee County reported 54 new cases bringing their total to 3,015. Iroquois County reported 28 new cases bringing their total to 463.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health along with area health departments are reporting case numbers in area communities. 337 cases have been in Rantoul, 195 in Mahomet, 105 in St. Joseph, 86 in Gilman, 67 in Clifton,  65 each in Hoopeston and Watseka, 59 in Paxton, 51 in Fairbury, 49 in Chebanse, 41 in Fisher, 39 in Piper City, 33 in Onarga, 29 in Gibson City, 26 in Forrest, 25 in Potomac, 22 in Cissna Park, 21 in Milford, 18 each in Thomasboro and Ashkum, 17 in Rossville, 16 in Danforth, 14 in Gifford, 12 in Rankin, 11 each in Saybrook and Crescent City, 10 in Cabery, 9 each in Bellflower, Wellington, Foosland and Donovan, 8 each in Buckley and Martinton, 7 each in Loda, Roberts, Chatsworth and Beaverville, 6 each in Ludlow, Sheldon, Kempton and Cullom, 5 in Dewey, 4 each in Colfax and Arrowsmith and 2 in Penfield.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The dry weather gave farmers plenty of time in the fields as we hear in the weekly crop report. Just about a whole week was suitable for fieldwork, with most areas seeing very little rain. Crop Statistician Steve Parn says 95 percent of corn is mature…

 


 

Crop Statistician Steve Parn. 56 percent of soybeans have been harvested, ahead of the 50 percent five year average. 46 percent of winter wheat has been planted and 15 percent emerged. Average statewide topsoil moisture dropped to nine percent very short, 36 percent short, 54 percent adequate and one percent surplus.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- The pandemic has brought more attention to the need of broadband internet, so the Champaign County farm bureau are holding a survey to help. They’re trying to locate which areas in the county need the most assistance, and the bureau says so far they’ve seen higher numbers outside the Champaign Urbana area. The survey will help figure out the next steps for improving service.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- The University of Illinois Senate is considering a revised schedule to limit the amount of opportunity students have to travel. The idea is to lower their risk of COVID-19 exposure, but some students doubt it’ll make any difference. If the revised schedule goes into effect, students will get three non-consecutive days off: Wednesday, February 17, 2021; Wednesday, March 24, 2021; and Tuesday, April 13, 2021. It will also push back the start of the spring semester by a week, from January 19 to January 15, to give students time to test and quarantine or isolate. The issue will be taken up on Monday.

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Paxton Buckley Loda School Board meets tonight where they will consider approving their FY 20 audit and discuss their tax levy. The PBL School Board meeting gets underway at 6.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Coronavirus pandemic has changed multiple aspects of our lives, from working remotely, to having to wear facial coverings and social distance all the way down to how our children learn. 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington says schools have done a great job adapting…

 

 

53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington.

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The City of Paxton is reminding residents that pets must be registered with the city yearly. The cost to register your pet is $3. To register your pet, call city hall at 379-4022.

(Springfield-jm) -- The Coalition to Protect Our Telehealth is asking the Illinois General Assembly to make Governor J.B. Pritzker’s executive order that allows a patient to confer with their doctor via video chat a state law. They want the laws to bar insurance providers and others from classifying a telehealth visit differently than an in-person visit or requiring a different set of practitioners rather than the patient’s current doctor. In a July report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, researchers found nearly half of Illinois residents who required care in April used telehealth services.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Pritzker administration Tuesday announced an additional $1 million in spending for census-related media outreach in communities of color across the state. The Illinois Department of Human Services will continue to promote participation in the 2020 Census following a federal court’s ruling extending the deadline to October 31, 2020. Illinois is one of the few states in the country that allocated funding for census outreach efforts in its 2021 fiscal year budget. 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Nearly 660 thousand people in Illinois have already voted in the November election. About 176 thousand of the ballots cast so far are from those taking advantage of early voting, but the rest are coming from mail-in ballots. State Board of Elections Spokesperson Matt Dietrich says they are strongly urging voters to return their mail in ballot right away to ensure they are included in election night totals and to catch any errors…

 

 

State Board of Elections Spokesperson Matt Dietrich. Dietrich says numbers should increase next week as more early voting locations come online in Cook County and the City of Chicago.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 2,851 new Coronavirus cases Tuesday and 39 additional deaths bringing the state’s total number of cases to 324,743 and deaths to 9,026. As for local active and recovered cases, McLean County reported 3,364 have recovered, 298 are in isolation and 8 are hospitalized. Champaign County reported 4,998 have recovered, 306 are in isolation and 4 are hospitalized. Ford County reported 154 have been removed from isolation, 55 are in isolation with 4 hospitalized. Vermilion County did not report how many have recovered but did report 224 cases are active with 10 hospitalized. Livingston County reported 461 have been removed from isolation, 37 cases are active with 2 hospitalized. Kankakee County reported 2,579 have recovered, 362 cases are active with 17 hospitalized. Iroquois County reported 397 have been released from isolation, 44 remain in isolation with 3 hospitalized.

 

 

(Ford County-jm) -- The Ford County Public Health Department reported 26 of the counties new 38 new Coronavirus cases were linked to a long term care facility in the county. The outbreak is at Piper City Rehab and Living Center. That is the latest facility to have an outbreak in Ford County. Earlier in the pandemic, 41 cases and 3 deaths were reported at the Accolade on Pells facility in Paxton. 4 cases were also reported earlier on at the Gibson Annex. As for surrounding counties either currently experiencing outbreaks or had outbreaks, Country Health and Rehab in Gifford had 9 cases and the Villas of Hollybrook in Rantoul had 5. 73 other cases were reported between 7 facilities in the Champaign-Urbana area. 78 cases and 14 deaths were reported at Gilman Health Care Center while 51 cases and 4 deaths were reported at Ascension Presence Merkle Knipprath in Clifton and 3 cases were reported at Prairieview Lutheran Home in Danforth.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) --   The dry weather gave farmers plenty of time in the fields as we hear in the weekly crop report. Temperatures this past week were more than five degrees above normal, with very little rain to speak of in Illinois. Crop Statistician Steve Parn says 95 percent of soybeans are now dropping leaves…

 

 

Crop Statistician Steve Parn. 45 percent of corn has been harvested, behind the five year average of 53 percent but well ahead of last year’s progress. 46 percent of winter wheat has been planted and average statewide topsoil moisture declined to  nine percent very short, 36 percent short, 54 percent adequate and one percent surplus.

 

(Urbana-jm) -- A Rantoul man was arrested after U of I police say he was found asleep inside an office of a campus building. Police say 21 year old Chase Henson was found asleep inside an office that was not his inside Roger Adams Lab. Henson also allegedly broke into several labs causing more than $8,500 in damage.

 

(Undated-jm) -- Area fire departments were busy Tuesday afternoon. Piper City firefighters were called to a combine fire at 1700 E. 2800 N. They were assisted by Danforth fire. Paxton fire was called to assist Buckley and Loda fire for a fire at 680 N. 800 E.

 

 

(Paxton-cf)-- The Paxton Masonic Lodge is holding a “Get out of Dodge” raffle. The raffle is for a $2500 voucher to the Peabody Hotel in downtown Memphis Tennessee. You have to be 18 years of age to purchase a ticket, and tickets are $75. Masonic Lodge Member James Sheral has the details on how tickets can be purchased… 

 

 

Masonic Lodge Member James Sheral. Tickets will be sold until October 24th, and will be drawn at 1pm at the Masonic Lodge in Paxton. 

 

(Gilman-jm) -- The Gilman City Council meets tonight for their monthly meeting. Council members will set trick or treat hours and consider amending salaries. The Gilman city council meeting gets underway at 7.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- The Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce along with some community businesses will be hosting a holiday shop hop. Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce Director Amanda Vickery talks about this year’s event…

 

 

Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Amanda Vickery.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Parkland College is announcing their fall enrollment numbers. The Champaign based community college is reporting a 11.5 percent decline compared to last year. That number is better than expected. Earlier projections showed a potential 30 percent decline.

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I-57 Crash Update

Noon update

(Paxton--jc/jm) Two people are dead following a 3 vehicle crash on Interstate 57 near Loda this morning. Illinois State Police say a 26 year old from Onarga and a 21 year old female from Pembroke Township were pronounced dead at the scene. A 19 year old from Rantoul, a 21 year old from Beaverville and a 33 year old from Eagle Pass Texas were taken to the hospital with non life threatening injuries. A 3 week old infant from Beaverville was airlifted to the hospital with life threatening injuries. Police say the driver from Onarga was traveling southbound when he crossed the median and struck another vehicle head on. The third vehicle, a semi struck one of the vehicles causing the infant and 21 year old passenger to be ejected. 

 

Updated

(Urbana-jm) -- A University of Illinois student is facing weapon charges after police say he had a gun in his dorm room. Police say Joshua Gray made concerning posts on social media. A search of his dorm room uncovered a gun and ammunition. Gray was recently arrested for spray painting near the Alma Mater.

 

Updated

 (Thomasboro-jm) -- Thomasboro police are warning residents to lock their vehicles after a string of break ins. The latest occurred Sunday morning when 5 vehicles in the area of S. John, Shelly and Jacobsen streets were illegally entered and items stolen or moved around. Thomasboro police reported a handgun was stolen from one of the vehicles Sunday. Anyone with information is asked to call Thomasboro police or the Champaign County Sheriff’s office.

 

Updated

(Gibson City-jm) -- Gibson City’s west park will be getting a new addition. Mayor Dan Dickey says it came from a request from the area girl scouts…

 

 

 

Gibson City Mayor Dan Dickey.

 

Updated

(Onarga-jm) -- Drivers in Onarga will be down a railroad crossing next week. Canadian National Railroad posted the Seminary Street crossing will be closed starting Monday and will be closed for 7 days.

 

Updated

(Paxton-jm) -- The Paxton Masonic Lodge has made a donation to a local group. The lodge donated to the Prairieland CEO program. The Prairieland CEO program partners with local businesses and organizations to provide unique entrepreneur opportunities. The program features students in the PBL, GCMS and Fisher school districts.

 

Updated

(Paxton-cf)-- The PBL FFA Chapter will be hosting Discover Ag Day Camps over the next coming weeks. Sign ups have come and gone, but the camp will include a lot of lessons and activities. PBL FFA member Chirstina White has the details of what the first lesson will be… 

 

 

 

PBL FFA Member Christina White. The first lesson will take place Thursday October 22.

 

Updated

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation has released the annual Consumer Lending Trends Report between 2012 and 2019. In 2019, payday loans were 13.4 percent higher than they were in 2012. Small consumer loans were 7.8 percent higher in 2019 compared to 2012. Title loans were 4.3 percent lower than in 2012. Title loan defaults were at 28.8 percent.

 

updated

(Undated-jm) -- The Trump Administration is announcing up to $100 million to increase American biofuel sales. The higher blends infrastructure incentive program is available in 14 states including Illinois and several surrounding states.

 

updated

(Springfield-jm) -- Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are calling for public hearings of the Illinois Department of Employment Security. This comes as frustrations continue to mount from politicians and Illinoisans who can't get through to the department. Both Democrats and Republicans are tired of the lack of transparency from the agency and want answers from the department and Governor J-B Pritzker through public hearings.

 

Updated

(Springfield-jm) -- Thousands of voters have already turned in their ballots, and while it’s OK to share that you voted, snapping a picture of your ballot could get you into some trouble. While it isn’t a federal crime to take a selfie with or a picture of your ballot, it does violate what is in the Illinois Election Code. Illinois State Board of Election officials are discouraging voters from taking a selfie with their ballot because the general rule states the ballot should be a secret. As far as prosecuting those that violate this code, it comes down to the state's attorney in a specific election authority. 

 

updated

(Undated-jm) -- Halloween is just around the corner, so you may be stocking up on Halloween candy for trick-or-treaters.  A new report says the most popular candy among Illinoisans is first sour, then it's sweet. CandyStore.com released an interactive map showing the favorite Halloween candies of each state. According to the map, in Illinois, the most popular candy is Sour Patch Kids. Last year, Kit Kats were considered the most popular candy in the state. This year, they came in second place. Starburst is listed as the third-most popular candy in Illinois.

 

updated

(Springfield-jm) --  Just days before the state deadline, the Illinois State Board of Education is changing course when it comes to students meeting the state deadline for turning in immunization records. Meeting the October 15 deadline is still required by Illinois State law, even during a pandemic, but there are new options for those that fail to turn it in. Originally, the Illinois State Board of Education said schools would have to exclude kids from school until they showed proof. However, there was no language distinguishing remote learning vs on site learning. Yesterday, they announced kids can do remote learning.

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The Trump Administration is announcing up to $100 million to increase American biofuel sales

(Paxton--jc) Two cars and a semi were involved in a major accident just after 1 this morning along Interstate 57 at mile marker 266 just north of Paxton. Authorities say several people were injured and airlift was called to assist at the scene. Traffic is being re routed from 1-57 into Paxton and north as work continues at the scene of the accident. WPXN news will update this story as more official news becomes available. 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation has released the annual Consumer Lending Trends Report between 2012 and 2019. In 2019, payday loans were 13.4 percent higher than they were in 2012. Small consumer loans were 7.8 percent higher in 2019 compared to 2012. Title loans were 4.3 percent lower than in 2012. Title loan defaults were at 28.8 percent.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Trump Administration is announcing up to $100 million to increase American biofuel sales. The higher blends infrastructure incentive program is available in 14 states including Illinois and several surrounding states.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are calling for public hearings of the Illinois Department of Employment Security. This comes as frustrations continue to mount from politicians and Illinoisans who can't get through to the department. Both Democrats and Republicans are tired of the lack of transparency from the agency and want answers from the department and Governor J-B Pritzker through public hearings.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- USDA's October crop reports show how tighter stocks are affecting other aspects of the crop balance sheets. Stephanie Ho talks with World Ag Outlook Board Chair Mark Jekanowski about the report…

 

 

 

(Onarga-jm) -- Drivers in Onarga will be down a railroad crossing next week. Canadian National Railroad posted the Seminary Street crossing will be closed starting Monday and will be closed for 7 days.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- A University of Illinois student is facing weapon charges after police say he had a gun in his dorm room. Police say Joshua Gray made concerning posts on social media. A search of his dorm room uncovered a gun and ammunition. Gray was recently arrested for spray painting near the Alma Mater.

 

 

(Paxton-cf)-- The PBL FFA Chapter will be hosting Discover Ag Day Camps over the next coming weeks. Sign ups have come and gone, but the camp will include a lot of lessons and activities. PBL FFA member Chirstina White has the details of what the first lesson will be… 

 

 

PBL FFA Member Christina White. The first lesson will take place Thursday October 22.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Paxton Park District, Vermilion County Board and St. Joseph village board meetings are tonight. The Paxton Park District will decide whether or not to have the Halloween parade and consider setting hours for the district's parks. The Vermilion County Board will be asked to approve several appointments to various boards and committees and approve bids for the Ross Township box culvert replacement. The St. Joseph village board will look at their tax levy and hear an update on several projects. The Paxton Park District meeting gets underway at 5:30, the Vermilion County Board meeting gets underway at 6 and the St. Joseph village board meeting gets underway at 7.

 

 

(Urbana-cf)-- Flu season is right around the corner, and we will have that combined with the COVID-19 pandemic. If you live in Champaign County, there are numerous places you can receive your flu shot.  Champaign-Urbana Public Health District Administrator Julie Pryde has the details… 

 

 

Champaign-Urbana Public Health District Administrator Julie Pryde.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Ford County Public Health Department is encouraging people to participate in the Great Shakeout Earthquake Drill. The drill takes place October 15th. They remind you to Drop, Cover and Hold on in the event of an earthquake.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- 52nd District State Senator Scott Bennett of Champaign is encouraging child care providers to apply for the next round of Business Interruption Grants. The first round of $150 million grants went to 4,686 providers. This time $114 million in grants are available. The deadline to apply is October 15th.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Thousands of voters have already turned in their ballots, and while it’s OK to share that you voted, snapping a picture of your ballot could get you into some trouble. While it isn’t a federal crime to take a selfie with or a picture of your ballot, it does violate what is in the Illinois Election Code. Illinois State Board of Election officials are discouraging voters from taking a selfie with their ballot because the general rule states the ballot should be a secret. As far as prosecuting those that violate this code, it comes down to the state's attorney in a specific election authority. 

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Halloween is just around the corner, so you may be stocking up on Halloween candy for trick-or-treaters.  A new report says the most popular candy among Illinoisans is first sour, then it's sweet. CandyStore.com released an interactive map showing the favorite Halloween candies of each state. According to the map, in Illinois, the most popular candy is Sour Patch Kids. Last year, Kit Kats were considered the most popular candy in the state. This year, they came in second place. Starburst is listed as the third-most popular candy in Illinois.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) --  Just days before the state deadline, the Illinois State Board of Education is changing course when it comes to students meeting the state deadline for turning in immunization records. Meeting the October 15 deadline is still required by Illinois State law, even during a pandemic, but there are new options for those that fail to turn it in. Originally, the Illinois State Board of Education said schools would have to exclude kids from school until they showed proof. However, there was no language distinguishing remote learning vs on site learning. Yesterday, they announced kids can do remote learning.

 

 

(Washington-jm) --  A top USDA official says the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement remains a significant trade deal, but admits some areas may need close attention. Rod Bain reports…

 

 

 

 (Thomasboro-jm) -- Thomasboro police are warning residents to lock their vehicles after a string of break ins. The latest occurred Sunday morning when 5 vehicles in the area of S. John, Shelly and Jacobsen streets were illegally entered and items stolen or moved around. Thomasboro police reported a handgun was stolen from one of the vehicles Sunday. Anyone with information is asked to call Thomasboro police or the Champaign County Sheriff’s office.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Paxton Masonic Lodge has made a donation to a local group. The lodge donated to the Prairieland CEO program. The Prairieland CEO program partners with local businesses and organizations to provide unique entrepreneur opportunities. The program features students in the PBL, GCMS and Fisher school districts.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Gibson City’s west park will be getting a new addition. Mayor Dan Dickey says it came from a request from the area girl scouts…

 

 

Gibson City Mayor Dan Dickey.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Rantoul village board and Paxton city council both meet tonight. Rantoul village trustees will be asked to approve the purchase of two police vehicles, approve a demo contract for the Illinois Drive project and approve some engineering agreements for the Broadmeadow Road extension, adding a turn lane to Murray Road and a multi use path on Maplewood Drive. Paxton council members will be asked to approve repairs to sidewalks and approve bids for repainting the clock tower. The Rantoul village board meeting gets underway at 6pm with the Paxton city council meeting getting underway at 7.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Those not wanting to go to the polls because of the Coronavirus pandemic can request a mail in ballot. Champaign County Clerk Aaron Ammons addresses one of the concerns he has heard…

 

 

Champaign County Clerk Aaron Ammons. 

 

 

(Normal-jm) -- Illinois State University’s Center for the Study of Education Policy has been awarded a $4.3 million grant from the U-S Department of Education. The funding will be used to continue the Center’s work through the Together Everyone Achieves More Through Integrated Leadership project , to increase principal effectiveness in performance areas that lead to increases in student achievement.

 

 

(Ashkum-jm) -- Illinois State Police in Ashkum have released September activity results. Last month, troopers issued 439 citations and 720 written warnings including 11 DUIs, 34 seatbelt citations and made 26 criminal arrests. Also during the month of September, troopers responded to 57 traffic accidents that resulted in two fatalities.

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Illinois continues to see increasing initial unemployment claims

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois continues to see increasing initial unemployment claims. The U.S. Department of Labor reported more than 36,000 Illinoisans filed for initial unemployment claims last week. That’s 6,600 more than the week before, and a larger increase than any other state saw from the week before.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Another rating agency is giving Illinois bonds a near junk status. Fitch Ratings this week rated $850 million of general obligation bonds BBB- (triple B minus), which is just above speculative grade, which some call junk. S&P Global Ratings issued the same rating. S&P said 15 percent of the state’s budget is based on speculative revenue from federal funds and tax increases that haven’t materialized.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting 5,632 new Coronavirus cases since Friday and 40 additional deaths. That brings the state’s total number of cases to 319,150 and deaths to 8,984. The 7 day positivity rate jumped from 3.8 percent Friday to 4.2 percent Sunday. The state reported more than 60,000 tests were tested on Saturday and Sunday. 1,776 people were in the hospital with COVID-19.  Of those, 388 patients were in the ICU and 159 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.   

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services is launching a new streamlined, online system for reporting child abuse and neglect. The new system is much easier to use: those filing a report no longer have to register as a user, has clearer entry fields and it takes less clicks to get the information filled, says DCFS Deputy Chief of Staff Tierney Stutz…

 

 

DCFS Deputy Chief of Staff Tierney Stutz. That way, investigators can immediately begin reviewing reports. Stutz also says the child abuse hotline has also been updated, with specific prompts for kids that are reporting their own abuse or neglect, as well as for teachers and law enforcement. To file a report visit DCFS’ website or call the hotline at 1-800-25-ABUSE.

 

 

(Rural Buckley-jm) -- Buckley first responders were called to an accident early Saturday morning. Emergency crews were called to a single vehicle rollover accident with injuries on I-57 southbound near mile marker 268. No word on the extent of those injuries.

 

 

(Gilman-jm) -- Those traveling north on I-57 toward Kankakee will see road construction. Crews will begin work on I-57 near Gilman starting today. No word on how long the work will last.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- The fall semester started a couple of months ago and the return to the classroom has looked different compared to years past. Gibson City Melvin Sibley Schools Superintendent Jeremy Darnell says his district has done good with the challenges so far…

 

 

Gibson City Melvin Sibley Schools Superintendent Jeremy Darnell.

 

 

(Ford County-jm) -- The Ford County Board is expected to approve their FY 21 budget at tonight’s county board meeting. In addition to the budget, county board members could approve an ordinance for a local CURE program for federal Coronavirus relief funds. The Ford County Board meeting gets underway at 7 pm.

 

 

(Paxton-cf)--The Paxton Masonic Lodge is raffling a trip to the Peabody Hotel in downtown Memphis Tennessee. The winner of the raffle will receive a voucher with $2,500 to use at the hotel. Tickets are $75 and only 300 will be sold.  Masonic Lodge Member James Sheral has the details… 

 

 

Masonic Lodge Member James Sheral. You can purchase your raffle ticket from any active Lodge Member, at Hudson's Drug and Hallmark shop, or from Beau Tyler the Manager of the Public House 130.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Children picking out a fall themed books at the Paxton Carnegie Library will also be able to pick up an October activity calendar. The event runs through the end of the month.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- The Champaign County Association of Realtors has a new president. Liz McDonald was named president recently. McDonald is co-owner of the McDonald Group.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- The USDA released a new crop forecast report Friday.  Gary Crawford has a look at the new USDA forecasts for corn and soybean production and prices…

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Cannabis sales in Illinois are booming, but the taxes the state takes in won't fix Illinois’ financial challenges, the latest figures show. Depending on the potency of the product, it can have taxes of 40 percent or more. Since the adult-use program began in Illinois, dispensaries have sold more than $431 million worth of cannabis products. The state has taken in more than $106 million in revenue. That may sound like a lot of revenue, but with a state budget of more than $40 billion, it’s a “drop in the bucket.”

 

 

(Springfield-jm) --  Illinois is one of the worst states in the country for representation on Election Day. A study by the personal finance website WalletHub compared each state’s voter distribution to its electorate distribution by race, age and gender to come up with a Voter Representation Index. Then they applied the same approach to determine the National Voter Representation Index, which compares U.S. voters to the national electorate based on four additional demographic categories: employment status, family income, educational attainment and marital status. Illinois ranked 45th in the nation with a voter representation index score of 84.11, with race representation lowering the overall score.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois now has more than 319,000 Coronavirus cases and almost 9,000 deaths after the state reported 2,905 new cases Saturday and 2,727 new cases Sunday. The seven day positivity rate is now up to 4.2 percent after it was at 3.8 percent Friday. Over 66,000 tests were run Saturday and over 64,000 were run Sunday. 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The pandemic has pushed the issue of voter access to the forefront, but for Illinois' disability community, it's more than just another talking point. Mary Schuermann reports…

 

 

 

(Roberts-jm) -- Roberts and Melvin firefighters were called to a house fire Sunday afternoon. Firefighters were called to the fire at 100 block of W. Maple around 2pm. Loda, Buckley, Piper City, Sibley and Thawville were also called to assist.No word on the cause of the fire or if there were any injuries.

 

 

(Iroquois County-jm) -- Iroquois County Clerk Breein Suver is announcing 9 polling location changes. 8 of the changes are temporary for the November 3rd election. The other will be a permanent change starting with the November 3rd election. Voters in Belmont 1 will now vote at the Cornerstone Church in Woodland, Belmont 2 and 3 will now vote at the Watseka High School cafeteria, Concord will now vote at the park building at Dunning Park in Iroquois, Douglas 1 will now vote at The Garage Community Center in Gilman, Loda will now vote at the Loda American Legion, Onarga 1 and 2 will now vote at the Iroquois West Middle School Gym in Onarga, Pigeon Grove will now vote at the Cissna Park American Legion. The permanent change involves Milford 2 which will now vote at the Milford Christian Church. Anyone with questions can call the Iroqouis County Clerk’s office at 815-432-6960.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- The Champaign County Chamber of Commerce is putting on a scarecrow contest. Participating businesses pay $75 and put up a scarecrow as part of the chamber’s fundraising. Champaign County Chamber of Commerce Marketing Director Lindsay Quick talks about the contest…

 

 

Champaign County Chamber of Commerce Marketing Director Lindsay Quick.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Gibson City leaders will discuss phase 5 of their combined sewer and separation project at tonight’s council meeting. Phase 5 focuses on the downtown area. The Gibson City city council meeting gets underway at 7pm.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- An area group has received a grant to help boost immune systems. Valerie Wright talks more about the grant…

 

 

Spokesperson Valerie Wright.

 

 

(Hoopeston-jm) -- Several Hoopeston government facilities are closed because of an increase in COVID-19 numbers in the community and after an employee at city hall tested positive. Hoopeston City Hall and the front window at the Hoopeston Police Department are closed until at least October 26th. The Hoopeston Public Library announced late Friday they will be closed for 3 days because an employee there tested positive. They are also changing their hours and only offering curbside services starting Tuesday. Their hours will be available by phone from 10-3 Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday and from 3-8 on Tuesday. The Hoopeston Area school district also announced they are suspending in person learning for at least two weeks after several positive cases were reported in their school district.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- The Moyer District Library in Gibson City will once again be offering their afterschool program with a new addition. The library announced Tiffani Phillips has been hired to lead the program. Phillips has been in the community for 14 years and owns a store in the community.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- USDA's October forecasts for major crops are within industry expectations. Stephanie Ho reports…

 

 

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Illinois continues to outpace all other states in the number of firearm background checks

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois will be challenged to maintain its investment grade credit rating, according to Fitch Ratings. About $850 million in bonds that Illinois is putting out this month has a near-speculative grade credit rating, according to Fitch Ratings. The state's overall rating has been affirmed, but with continued negative outlook. The credit rating agency gave several bonds Illinois put out this month a BBB- rating, which is one notch above BB, a rating the agency says is speculative grade. Others say that’s junk bond status.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker got an “F” grade on a report that evaluated the nation’s governors on their fiscal restraint. The Cato Institute’s Fiscal Policy Report Card on America’s Governors uses statistical data to grade the governor’s on taxing and spending records. Governors who have cut taxes and spending the most receive the highest grades, while those who have increased taxes and spending receive the lowest grades, according to the institute. Pritzker signed into law $2.7 billion in net annual tax increases in 2019. He hiked vehicle registration fees, doubled the gas tax to 38 cents per gallon, and expanded online sales taxes. One good move, according to the report, was enacting a phase-out of the state’s corporate franchise tax, which is a burden on businesses in addition to the state’s corporate income tax.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- House Minority Leader Jim Durkin has some harsh words for Democrats postponing meetings of the special investigating committee. Durkin called for the hearings in response to the Com-Ed bribery scheme, but only two have been held so far. Democratic Chairman, Representative Chris Welch, has suspended meetings until after the November election, saying this is all about politics. Durkin responds…

 

 

House Minority Leader Jim Durkin. Speaker Madigan has not been charged with any wrongdoing. House GOP members want him to testify before the committee, and ultimately face disciplinary action over the scandal.

 

(Rantoul--jc)  Police continue to search for a suspect that robbed the T-Mobile store in Champaign. The robbery happened around 5-30 Thursday afternoon. State police attempted to stop a vehicle with the suspect. The investigation led to an abandoned car in Rantoul. Police continue to search for the suspect.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois continues to outpace all other states in the number of firearm background checks. According to FBI NCIS Firearm Checks data, there were more than 421,000 checks in September, far outpacing any other state. Indiana was a distant second with 203,000 checks for the month. So far this year, there’ve been 5.6 million checks in Illinois, far more than Kentucky’s total to date of 2.3 million.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- A Senate committee is discussing potential changes to Black history curriculum for students. Members of the Black Legislative Caucus have been pushing to revamp social studies lessons, to emphasize the contributions of minorities throughout history and provide black and brown students a message of empowerment. Maywood Senator Kimberly Lightford says she was never able to relate or feel a sense of inclusion in social studies class…

 

 

State Senator Kimberly Lightford of Maywood. The group also heard from education experts who say computer science needs to be emphasized more in school, since most jobs require some digital skills.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 3,059 new Coronavirus cases and 32 deaths Thursday bringing the state’s total number of cases to 310,700 and deaths to 8,910. Locally, McLean County reported 15 new cases bringing their total number of cases to 3,482. Champaign County reported 32 new cases bringing their total number of cases to 5,103. Livingston County reported 9 new cases bringing their total number of cases to 481. Ford County reported 4 new cases to 176. Kankakee County reported 22 new cases bringing their total number of cases to 2,934. Vermilion County reported 34 new cases bringing their total cases to 982. Iroquois County reported 5 new cases bringing their total to 427. McLean, Champaign, Livingston, Kankakee and Vermilion Counties all reported at least one new death Thursday.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health along with area health departments are reporting cases in area communities. 323 cases have been in Rantoul, 187 in Mahomet, 101 in St. Joseph, 80 in Gilman, 65 in Clifton, 59 in Watseka, 52 in Paxton, 47 each in Hoopeston and Chebanse, 46 in Fairbury, 38 in Fisher, 32 in Onarga, 28 in Gibson City, 24 each in Potomac and Forrest, 21 in Cissna Park, 17 each in Thomasboro and Ashkum, 16 in Danforth, 15 each in Rossville, Milford and Ogden, 12 in Gifford, 11 each in Saybrook and Piper City, 10 in Crescent City, 9 each in Foosland and Donovan, 8 each in Buckley, Martinton and Cabery, 7 in Bellflower, 6 each in Ludlow, Loda, Rankin, Chatsworth, Cullom and Beaverville, 5 in Dewey, 4 each in Arrowsmith and Colfax and 2 in Penfield.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- This week has been Fire Prevention Week and all week long we have talked with the Paxton Fire Department about things you should do to make sure you and your family are prepared for a fire. Today Paxton Firefighter Alan Meyer talks about making sure your dryer doesn’t become a fire source…

 

 

Paxton Firefighter Alan Meyer. 

 

 

(Savoy-jm) -- Flights are being added back into the weekly schedule at Willard Airport in Savoy. Flights to Dallas-Fort Worth will be returning with 12 flights per week. Flight to O'Hare in Chicago will be returning with six flights per week.  One flight will per day leave to Charlotte, just as it has since the flight schedules were altered.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- An autopsy is scheduled for today on an Urbana man who was shot and killed in Champaign yesterday morning. Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup says 29 year old Martin Morrow was pronounced dead at Carle Foundation Hospital. Police say Morrow was shot several times near Williams and Duncan on Champaigns west side.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- The state is allowing those who want to avoid going to the polls on election day because of the Coronavirus pandemic, the option to request a mail in ballot. Champaign County Clerk Aaron Ammons says it’s a safe option…

 

 

Champaign County Clerk Aaron Ammons.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Champaign has been ranked in the top 30 places to live in the U-S. Livability ranked Champaign 27th out of 100 best places to live. The group says Champaign is great for young families and ranks the communities fine arts and food scene best in the Midwest.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- A new boutique is open in Paxton. AnnRose Boutique Clothing Company opened at 165 S. Market Street in downtown Paxton next to city hall. Hours are Monday from 10-1 and Wednesday 4-6.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- The signup period for USDA's Dairy Margin Coverage program is about to begin. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

Paxton townwide garage sales will take place today and tomorrow. 57 garage sales are listed on the Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce’s facebook page.

 

Christie Clinic will be offering a drive thru flu clinic on Saturday from 7 am to noon at their location in Rantoul.

 

Paxton IGA will be hosting a cookout benefiting the PBL FFA on Saturday from 10-2.

 

The St. Malachy Fall Festival is Sunday at 11.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Average residents of Illinois will spend $1,118,865 during their retirement years, in a state where the cost of living is 1.9 percent less than the national average, according to a new study from the website 24/7 Wall St. The analysis used data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the independent Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation to examine what it costs to retire comfortably in each state. Whether someone saves enough to live comfortably during his golden years depends on several factors, such as whether he will receive pension payments in addition to Social Security, according to 24/7 Wall St. In Illinois, the average monthly housing cost for those 65 and older who own their homes was estimated at $609. And the share of seniors in the state population is 15.6 percent, according to the report. Nationwide, Americans will spend on average $987,000 during their retirement years, with the average life expectancy at age 65 estimated at 19.4 years, according to 24/7 Wall St.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Despite the massive amount of mail-in votes and the extended early voting hours across all 108 election jurisdictions, Illinois public sector employees will still have election day off. Governor J.B. Pritzker reiterated the updated law, which makes Tuesday, Nov. 3rd a state holiday saying voters who do decide to vote on election day should know they can go to the polls with the confidence they’ll be safe.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker says he’s feeling well as he finishes out the last few days of quarantine. The Governor has been in a 14 day quarantine since September 29th, when a member of his staff tested positive for the Coronavirus. He says he hasn’t had any problems so far…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Governor Pritzker says he’s been tested twice for the virus since being in quarantine and both tests have come back negative.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Municipal League says there’s millions of already approved federal dollars for local government COVID-19 relief that the state is still holding. IML Executive Director Brad Cole said it’s been seven months since the first federal package sent dollars to states for local governments and not one dime he says has been distributed by the Pritzker administration. Pritkzer’s office has declined to address the situation.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture has just begun a confidential survey of 300 Illinois soybean farmers to gather information about fertilizer and pesticide use. The National Agricultural Statistics Survey is asking Illinois soybean farmers to have their fertilizer and spray records handy to help speed up the data collection process. The results of the survey help policymakers and farm groups understand the factors driving the costs and returns of crop production.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Labor is stressing the importance of grain bin safety this time of year. Grain bins can be a very dangerous place on the farm, so it’s vital that farmers put safety first says Labor Department Assistant Director Jason Keller…

 

 

Illinois Department of Labor Assistant Director Jason Keller. Keller says workers should avoid entering grain bins if possible and follow the lock out, tag out protocol of powering off all equipment and tagging it to remain off. So far this year, 11 grain entrapment cases have been reported in Illinois, killing four people.

 

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois now has more than 310,000 Coronavirus cases and 8,910 deaths.  As for local active and recovered cases, McLean County reported 3,263 have recovered, 184 are in isolation, 11 are hospitalized with 2 in the ICU. Champaign County reported 4,744 have recovered, 332 are in isolation with 2 hospitalized. Livingston County reported 435 have been removed from isolation, 37 cases are active with 2 hospitalized. Ford County reported 151 have been released from isolation, 17 remain in isolation with 3 hospitalized. Kankakee County reported 2,537 have recovered, 325 cases are active with 11 hospitalized. Vermilion County reported 755 have been released from isolation, 213 are in isolation with 8 hospitalized. Iroquois County reported 382 have been released from isolation, 24 are in isolation with 2 hospitalized.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- 8 coronavirus deaths were reported in the 7 county WPXN listening area. Champaign County reported 4 deaths while McLean, Livingston, Kankakee and Vermilion Counties each reported 1 death each. McLean County has 24 deaths, Champaign County has 27 deaths, Livingston County has 9 deaths, Ford County has 5 deaths, Kankakee County has 74 deaths, Vermilion County has 6 deaths and Iroquois County has 19 deaths.

 

 

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

 

 

Scott Allen with Paxton Hardware and Rental. You can hear more tips about winterizing your boat or RV tomorrow morning at 7:30.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Police from multiple agencies were looking for a suspect involved in a Champaign robbery in Rantoul Thursday evening. Champaign police say the suspect robbed the T-Mobile store on Prospect at knifepoint around 5:30 pm. State police spotted the vehicle near Rantoul and chased it. They found the car near the Walmart but the suspect had not been located. 

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- A University of Illinois student has been arrested for defacing property. Joshua Gray was identified as the person who spray painted a sidewalk near the Alma Mater during a demonstration in August.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- School has been in session for a couple of months so far and some districts are faring better than others. Gibson City Melvin Sibley Schools Superintendent Jeremy Darnell talks about how his district has done so far…

 

GCMS Schools Superintendent Jeremy Darnell. 

 

 

(Ashkum-jm) -- District 21 Illinois State Police in Ashkum have released results of recent Occupant Restraint Enforcement Patrols. Troopers say during the patrol, conducted in Kankakee County, 18 safety belt citations were issued.

 

 

(Buckley-jm) -- Three village of Buckley employees will receive a pay increase next year. The Buckley village board approved the 3 percent raises that are set to begin January 1st.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- U.S. agricultural export values are down slightly from 2019, including soybeans. Rod Bain reports…

 

 

The Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center will host a blood drive at OSF St. James-John Albrecht Medical Center in Pontiac today from 10 to 4.

 

The American Red Cross will hold a blood drive at the First Presbyterian Church in Hoopeston today from 11 to 4.

 

Champaign County will be hosting an electronics recycling today and tomorrow.

 

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency will host a household hazardous waste collection on Saturday from 8:30-3:30 in Watseka at the Administrative Center.

 

The Mahomet Chamber of Commerce is hosting a Shop Hop on Saturday starting at 10 am.

 

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For the second time in less than a week, the daily COVID-19 death toll in Illinois has surpassed 40

(Springfield-jm) -- For the second time in less than a week, the daily COVID-19 death toll in Illinois has surpassed 40. The latest figures show 42 people, ranging in age from 40’s to 90’s died from the Coronavirus in the past day. There were 47 deaths last Friday, the highest number since late June. State Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike urges everyone to do their part to help stop spread of the virus…

 

 

State Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike. The state is reporting more than 26 hundred new cases, and over 16 hundred COVID patients are currently in the hospital.

 

Locally, Champaign County reported 33 new cases bringing their total 5,071. Livingston County reported 8 new cases bringing their total to 472. Iroquois County reported 8 new cases bringing their total to 422. Kankakee County reported 15 new cases and 1 additional death bringing their total number of cases to 2,912 and deaths to 73. Vermilion County reported 34 new cases bringing their total to 948.

 

 

(Springfield--jc)  --   Illinois’ comptroller Susana Mendoza  says President Donald Trump is holding Americans hostage by not continuing talks on another COVID-19 package. Critics of Democratic proposals in Congress say they include bailouts for poorly run states. Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza said the state is not looking for covering legacy debt, but is requesting coverage of lost revenues. State and local government tax revenue took a hit when leaders ordered businesses closed amid COVID-19 concerns.

 

 

(Springfield--jc)  --  If Illinois voters were to change the state’s flat income tax to a progressive income tax, the nonpartisan Tax Foundation says it would lower the state’s ranking to near the bottom of all states, from 36th to 47th. Such a change could tax corporate income at nearly 10.5 percent, the second highest in the nation, the group said.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- This week is Fire Prevention Week and the Paxton Fire Department is offering tips to keep you and your family safe in the event of a fire. Paxton Firefighter Alan Meyer talks about the importance of closing your bedroom door when you go to bed…

 

Paxton Firefighter Alan Meyer. Tomorrow we wrap up Fire Prevention Week talking about dryers and how you can prevent that from becoming a fire source.

 

 

(Gilman-jm) -- Firefighters from several departments were called to a brush fire in Gilman Wednesday afternoon. The fire was at 1810 N. US 45 on Gilman’s east side. Buckley, Ashkum, Thawville, Onarga, Gilman, Crescent City and Danforth are among the departments that responded.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- A Champaign County election judge has tested positive for the Coronavirus. The Champaign County Clerk’s office said the election judge was working at the Brookens Administrative Center Gymnasium when they received their positive test result. The election judge notified the clerk’s office who initiated cleaning procedures and worked with the Champaign Urbana Public Health Department to make sure proper cleaning procedures were followed. The Champaign County Clerk’s office and Champaign Urbana Public Health Department both do not believe the public or anyone at the Brookens Center were at risk.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Those wanting to get their flu vaccine can do so at the Ford County Public Health Department office in Paxton. The health department is doing the vaccine by appointment only because of the pandemic. Spokesperson Brandi Williams has what you need to do when coming to get your flu vaccine…

 

Ford County Public Health Department Spokesperson Brandi Williams. Schedule your appointment by calling the health department at 217-379-9281.

 

 

(Fisher-jm) -- The Fisher school district is facing a major deficit. The district is looking at a $509,000 deficit in the main funds of education and operations and maintenance. The district has $5.3 million in reserves.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- New USDA forecasts for ag. commodity exports will be coming out this week. Gary Crawford has the details…

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- More than six million COVID-19 tests have now been run in Illinois. Governor J-B Pritzker says the state is now averaging nearly 60 thousand tests a day and that testing is available if you feel you need it…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Local testing sites include Marketplace Mall in Champaign and the Interstate Center in Bloomington.

 

(Undated-jm) -- As for local active and recovered cases, McLean County reported 3,256 have recovered, 176 are in isolation, 12 are hospitalized with 2 in the ICU. Champaign County reported 4,701 have recovered, 347 cases are active with 2 hospitalized. Livingston County reported 424 have been removed from isolation, 40 cases are active and 4 are hospitalized. Iroquois County reported 380 have been released from isolation, 20 are in isolation and 3 are hospitalized. Kankakee County reported 2,524 have recovered, 316 cases are active with 11 hospitalized. Vermilion County reported 701 have been released from isolation, 233 are in isolation and 9 are hospitalized. Ford County reported 143 have been released from isolation, 22 are in isolation and 2 are hospitalized.

 

 

(Springfield--jc)  - -  Elections officials in Illinois say local authorities are doing their due diligence to keep Illinois’ voter rolls clean, and ballots correct, but there may be mistakes from time to time. In Bloomington, voters who already sent in their ballots weren’t being asked about certain judge retentions.In Madison County, some voters got their mail-in ballots and it had their party affiliation publicly labeled.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois homeowners are encouraged to prepare for colder weather. Among many tips are to clean out air filters and airflows of heating sources, test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and check gutters to prevent ice dams that could cause other damage.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Natural Resources says the number of hunters in Illinois has been declining for the past two decades and the goal of HuntIllinois.org is to promote hunting and streamline getting licenses and permits. The website has useful information, no matter what species individuals want to hunt or what season someone plans to go.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Gibson City is moving forward with the final phase of their combined sewer separation project. Mayor Dan Dickey says they hope to complete the project next year…

 

Gibson City Mayor Dan Dickey.

 

 

(Gilman-jm) -- A Gilman man has been sentenced to two years in prison for a drug offense. David Blair pleaded guilty in Grundy County court to unlawful delivery of a look alike substance. Police say Blair met an undercover officer in Grundy County and attempted to sell $200 worth of heroin. A test revealed Blair actually sold ibuprofen to the undercover officer.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- A Rantoul business is officially closed. Family Video announced in late August they would be closing their location at 136 and 45. The store closed this week after having a sale on all their videos.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The investigative committee looking into House Speaker Michael Madigan’s involvement in the ComEd corruption scandal continues. 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington recaps everything so far…

 

 

53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington. The committee announced Tuesday the next hearing won’t be until November 5th because of the upcoming election.

 

 

(Watseka-jm) -- The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency is resuming household hazardous waste collections this fall. The agency stopped collections due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Saturday, October 10th, will be the closest recycling event in the WPXN listening area in Watseka at the Administrative Center. Oil based paints, antifreeze, motor oil, gasoline, kerosene, insecticides and pesticides are allowed. Items such as latex based paints, explosives, propane tanks, fire extinguishers, smoke detectors and ag chemicals are not accepted.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- When the final agricultural trade numbers for the 2020 fiscal year are released, will they fall below the 2019 year? Will they match USDA's previous forecast for the year? Gary Crawford reports from Washington…

 

 

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Sales of adult-use cannabis increased last month over the month before

(Springfield-jm) -- A nonprofit organization and three retirees have filed a lawsuit challenging the wording of the progressive income tax amendment on election ballots ahead of the November 3rd vote. The suit challenges the claim on the ballot that the progressive tax amendment only grants lawmakers the power to impose higher income tax rates on higher income levels. The group “Vote Yes for Fairness” called the lawsuit a stunt.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Sales of adult-use cannabis increased last month over the month before. The state reports September sales totaled $67.6 million. That’s nearly $4 million more than August and $431 million in total sales since they began in January. The $53 million in cannabis taxes collected the first three months of this fiscal year have eclipsed all the cannabis revenue from the last fiscal year, which included the first six months of the legal program.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) --  Illinois would need $226 billion to pay all of its bills, including public employers’ pension benefits, according to a new ranking of the states’ fiscal health based on pre-pandemic data. Illinois ranked 49th among the 50 states on fiscal health, according to the analysis by Truth in Accounting, which is a Chicago-based nonprofit that reports on fiscal data from state and local governments. The amount of the state’s shortfall in funding to pay off its bills amounts to $52,000 per taxpayer, the study found. The TIA gave the state a financial grade of “F.”

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Requested a mail in ballot but now want to vote in person? Not a problem says the Illinois State Board of Elections. Mail-in voting is proving to be a popular option for the upcoming election, but Board Spokesperson Matt Dietrich says some are wondering if they can change their mind…

 

State Board of Elections Spokesperson Matt Dietrich. Additionally, Dietrich says if you did not receive the mail-in ballot, you can sign an affidavit at the polls and go ahead and vote in person. But, he urges those who requested to vote by mail to give it a little time for the ballot to arrive.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 1,617 new Coronavirus cases and 32 additional deaths bringing the state’s total number of cases to 305,011 and deaths to 8,836. Locally, McLean County reported 43 new cases bringing their total to 3,467. Champaign County reported 35 new cases bringing their total to 5,038. Livingston County reported 7 new cases bringing their total to 464. Ford County reported 3 new cases bringing their total 172. Kankakee County reported 10 new cases bringing their total to 2,897. Iroquois County reported 2 new cases bringing their total to 414. Vermilion County reported 79 new cases bringing their total to 914.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- This week we’ve been hi-liting safety tips from the Paxton Fire Department as part of fire prevention week. Today, Paxton Firefighter Alan Meyer talks about the importance of having a fire extinguisher…

 

 

Paxton Firefighter Alan Meyer. Tomorrow we will cover why you should close your bedroom door when you go to sleep.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Several organizations and city leaders in Champaign County wrote and signed a letter addressed to Governor J-B Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health asking to make Champaign County its own region. If Region 6, the region Champaign County is currently in, reaches above 8% positivity rate three days in a row, mitigation efforts will be applied. Last week, Champaign County data started to be excluded from Region 6 data to give an accurate representation of what testing is being done without the influence of the University of Illinois's testing sites. 

 

 

(Bloomington-jm) -- A local state senator has received a high honor. 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington has been named a Friend of Agriculture from the Illinois Farm Bureau.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Early voting is underway in Illinois. Champaign County Clerk Aaron Ammons talks about voter turnout and the safety measures they are taking…

 

 

Champaign County Clerk Aaron Ammons.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Paxton police have released their recent activity report. On October 6th, police received a report of someone throwing a piece of asphalt through a window at 105 E. State Street apartment 3. On October 5th, Jesus Sabino-Alvino of Boswell, Indiana was arrested for driving on a suspended license. Also on October 5th, Elizabeth Mullutt was arrested for battery for allegedly battering a person at the Paxton Public House. On October 2nd, police responded to three reports of burglary to motor vehicles. The first report was in the 500 block of E. Ottawa where a purse containing a wallet, checkbook, drivers license and social security card were stolen. The second report was in the 800 block of S. Vermilion where a 9 mm pistol and phone charger was stolen. The third report was in the 400 block of E. Franklin where a purse with wallet, debit card, drivers license and $200 in cash were stolen. Police believe the crimes were committed by the same person or person responsible for stealing two vehicles in Thomasboro. Some of the items along with a vehicle were found near Paxton. On September 29th, no injuries were reported or tickets issued after Mason Ecker struuck an unoccupied vehicle near Dawn and Vermilion.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Walmart is recalling several of its pre-cut fruit containers due to possible Listeria. The Food and Drug Administration says the affected Country Fresh products are sliced apples, grapes, mangos, pineapple, and cantaloupe. The containers will have “best if used by” dates between October 3rd and October 11th. Consumers are being asked to throw away the product or return it to the store for a refund.

 

The American Red Cross will hold a blood drive at the Cissna Park American Legion today from noon to 6 pm.

 

 

(Washington-jm) --  By the end of this week we will have a much better idea of the production and marketing prospects for the crops now being harvested. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The next hearing into Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan’s involvement in a nearly decade-long bribery scheme utility ComEd admitted to will be after the election. But Democrats are asking for a data dump that Republicans say will stall accountability. Last week, amid Republican questioning, Exelon compliance officer David Glockner revealed an email a Madigan office manager sent related to a utility board post for a Madigan ally. State Representative Tom Demmer asked if there are other communications involving Madigan they can provide. Glockner said there was and a request for all communication was submitted. The next hearing will be November 5th.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor JB Pritzker proposed seven principles to help reform and modernize Illinois' criminal justice system. The seven principles include ending the use of cash bail system and limit pretrial detention to only those who pose a threat to public safety, modernize sentencing laws on theft and drug offenses and use a public health approach to address mental health and addiction, reduce excessive lengths of stay in prison by providing pathways for people to earn opportunities for rehab, prioritize rehabilitation and reduce the risk of recidivism by increasing access to housing and healthcare for returning residents, increase police accountability and transparency for police officers and police departments, update and strengthen statewide standards for use of force by police officers and improve interactions with police by decriminalizing minor non-violent offenses, improving police response to crowd control, and increasing language and disability access.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker and Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton announced the new "Healing Illinois" initiative in response to the racial disparities highlighted by the coronavirus pandemic. Illinois Department of Human Services and the Chicago Community Trust will distribute $4.5 million in grants to Illinois organizations to help facilitate racial healing activities.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- State and local public health officials are challenging everyone to roll their sleeves up and get a flu shot. The Illinois Department of Public Health is launching a new campaign: “hashtag sleeve up,” asking everyone who gets the vaccine to share it on social media. State Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike says it’s important to be immunized since we are already fighting the Coronavirus…

 

 

Illinois Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike. Ezike says it’s vital to keep flu cases and hospitalizations down to make sure there are enough medical resources for COVID patients.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois now has more than 305,000 Coronavirus cases and over 8,800 deaths. As for local active and recovered cases, McLean County reported 3,241 have recovered, 192 are in isolation, 11 are hospitalized with 2 in the ICU. Champaign County reported 4,651 have recovered, 364 cases are active with 2 hospitalized. Livingston County reported 424 have been removed from isolation, 32 cases are active with 3 hospitalized. Ford County reported 143 have been released from isolation, 22 are in isolation with 2 hospitalized. Kankakee County reported 2,522 have recovered, 303 cases are active with 10 hospitalized. Iroquois County reported 380 have been released from isolation, 13 are in isolation and 2 are hospitalized. Vermilion County reported 681 have been released from isolation, 220 are in isolation and 8 are hospitalized.

 

 

(Watseka-jm) -- Those wanting to cast their vote for the November 3rd election have several ways to do so. Iroquois County Clerk Breein Suver has those options and the deadlines to do such voting…

 

 

Iroquois County Clerk Breein Suver.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Crime Stoppers and the Champaign County Sheriff's Office are teaming up for a new high tech way to boost crime-fighting efforts. A kiosk will be placed at the Champaign County Courthouse in Urbana that will aim to bring more awareness to unsolved Crime Stoppers cases and much more. Aside from the information on how to submit a tip, the Community Pro-Tektor Kiosk will display wanted subjects, Crime of the Week, public safety information, weather updates, amber alerts, and other announcements.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Paxton firefighters responded to a combine fire Tuesday evening. Firefighters were called to the fire near the intersection of 500 N and 2000 E. No injuries were reported.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Gibson City leaders approved a facade grant at their recent meeting. Mayor Dan Dickey talks about the grant and the grant program…

 

 

Gibson City Mayor Dan Dickey.

 

 

(Ford County-jm) -- The Ford County Sheriff’s office has released their September activity report. Deputies responded to 8 traffic accidents and issued 15 traffic citations including 6 for speeding, 2 each for DUI and driving with no headlights when required and 1 each for disobeying a stop sign, unlawful use of cannabis by a driver, driving on a revoked license, no seat belt and failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident. Deputies also handled 9 reports each of suspicious activity and domestic issues, 6 each of suspicious persons and suspicious vehicles, 5 reports of theft, 3 each for burglary and suicide attempts, 2 each of fraud, trespassing and harassment and 1 each for missing person, custody dispute and hit and run.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- A Penfield man has been sentenced to 6 years and 8 months in prison for domestic battery. Ian Keys received the sentence in Champaign County court. Keys was accused of abusing his girlfriend multiple times.

 

Danville Area Community College will host a drive thru job fair today from 9-11 am.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- It was good weather this past week for corn and soybean crop development. Stephanie Ho reports…

 

 

 

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This week is Fire Prevention Week

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Some daycare providers in Illinois say their businesses can’t remain open unless the state makes changes to capacity limits. Childcare workers are essential workers in Illinois. On September 21, Governor J-B Pritzker announced $156 million in Business Interruption Grants to 4,686 licensed childcare centers across the state.The money is designated to help the centers follow COVID guidelines, which means smaller classes and a higher child-to-teacher ratio. In a statement announcing the grants Pritzker emphasized the importance of safe childcare to the health of Illinois’ economy.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Revenues flowing into state coffers from legalized gambling operations plummeted during the fiscal year that ended June 30 as casinos, racetracks and other video gambling venues were forced to close during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many people also slowed down on buying lottery tickets, according to a new report by the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability which said total state tax revenues generated through legalized gambling fell 13.4 percent, or about $200 million, compared to the previous fiscal year.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The State Board of Education is teaming up with teacher’s unions to provide support for first year teachers. High quality mentoring programs are designed to reduce turnover among new teachers and give them a shoulder to lean on. This is especially important during the pandemic, says the Board’s Executive Director for Teaching and Learning Jennifer Kirmess (kir-miss)...

 

 

State Board of Education Executive Director for Teaching and Learning Jennifer Kirmess. The mentoring program is being funded with a six and a half million dollar federal COVID relief grant.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health announced 1,853 new Coronavirus cases and 14 additional deaths Monday bringing the state’s total number of cases to 303,394 and deaths to 8,805. Since Friday, McLean County reported 78 new cases bringing their total to 3,424. Champaign County reported 162 new cases bringing their total to 5,003. Livingston County reported 15 new cases and 1 additional death bringing their total to 457 and total deaths to 8. Ford County reported 2 new cases bringing their total to 169. Vermilion County reported 82 new cases bringing their total to 835. Kankakee County reported 46 new cases bringing their total to 2,887. Iroquois County reported 6 new cases bringing their total to 412.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- This week is Fire Prevention Week and the Paxton Fire Department is encouraging you to be prepared in case of a fire. Paxton Firefighter Alan Meyer talks about the importance of smoke detectors…

 

 

Paxton Firefighter Alan Meyer. Tune in tomorrow and the rest of this week in the morning for more safety tips from the Paxton fire department.

 

 

(Mahomet-jm) -- Mahomet-Seymour High School is announcing four of their students have been commended in the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program. The students commended are Alexander Headley, Tony Huang, Amber Marshall and Daniel Renshaw.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Voters will be asked to approve a change to the state’s constitution in the November election. The change would affect the state’s tax structure, whether to change it from a flat rate to a progressive rate. 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington talks about the amendment and voices his concerns…

 

 

53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- A Rantoul school has received a grant to support healthy eating and physical activity. Pleasant Acres Elementary received $2,900 as part of the Fuel Up to Play 60 program. The program is sponsored by the National Dairy Council and the NFL.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Harvest progress continues ahead of last year’s pace as we hear in the weekly crop report. This past week was cooler and drier than normal, with nearly six days suitable for fieldwork. Crop Statistician Steve Parn says 89 percent of corn acres are mature…

 

 

Crop Statistician Steve Parn. 81 percent of soybeans are dropping leaves and 25 percent of the crop has been harvested. 29 percent of winter wheat has been planted and average statewide topsoil moisture is rated at seven percent very short, 23 percent short, 68 percent adequate and two percent surplus.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- A report by the National Safety Council is giving Illinois favorable marks on its COVID-19 response, but said the state's testing program was "lagging." Eleven other states received an “on track” rating from the NSC, with New Mexico, New York and California leading the pack with the highest overall ratings. Ten states received an “off track” rating, with Mississippi and South Dakota received the lowest overall rating.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- A task force studying the issue of sexual abuse of Illinois students in school settings has issued its findings. The panel was created last year in response to reports of an increase of abuse cases in the Chicago Public School district. Its mission was to review the best practices for preventing the sexual abuse of students, how to best address that abuse, and the proper support for students who have suffered from that abuse. In all, the report includes 21 recommendations for best practices in addressing and preventing abuse and supporting victims statewide.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Local officials are having trouble getting their share of federal aid from the state of Illinois but the agency responsible for divvying up the funds says the process is underway. Illinois received $815 million from the federal government to distribute under the CARES Act. Of that, $250 million is to go to smaller communities and units of government for expenses related to the COVID-19 response via the Local CURE program, which began in August. The deadline, initially October 1, was pushed back to the end of the year.  The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity said, as of Sept. 24, it had distributed $1.3 million of the $250 million. Money not used will go into the state's coffers.

 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Emergency Management Agency is urging the public to participate in the world’s largest earthquake drill next week. The annual shakeout event will be held next Thursday, October 15th at 10:15 am. IEMA Spokesperson Rebecca Clark encourages everyone to sign up to participate and learn how to drop, cover and hold on in the event of an earthquake. She reminds that earthquakes don’t only occur in California…

 

 

IEMA Spokesperson Rebecca Clark. You can sign up to take part in the Great Shakeout online: at shakeout dot org. Families will find toolkits available for kids who are remote learning as well as other resources.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois now has 303,394 Coronavirus cases and 8,805 deaths according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. Livingston County reported their 8th Coronavirus related death. As for local active and recovered cases, McLean County reported 3,191 have recovered, 202 are in isolation, 8 are hospitalized with 2 in the ICU. Champaign County reported 4,605 have recovered, 375 cases are active with 6 hospitalized. Livingston County reported 419 have been removed from isolation, 30 cases are active with 2 hospitalized. Ford County reported 143 have been released from isolation, 21 cases are active and 2 are hospitalized. Vermilion County reported 660 have been released from isolation, 163 are in isolation and 7 are hospitalized. Kankakee County reported 2,508 have recovered, 307 cases are active and 10 are hospitalized. Iroquois County reported 377 have been released from isolation, 14 are in isolation and 2 are hospitalized.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- The Champaign County Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a scarecrow contest. Champaign County Chamber of Commerce Marketing Director Lindsay Quick talks about the contest…

 

 

Champaign County Chamber of Commerce Marketing Director Lindsay Quick. The contest begins October 19th through November 2nd.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- Three teens were taken into custody Monday after allegedly robbing an elderly man in Urbana. The Champaign County Sheriff's Office says the robbery was reported in the 1500 block of North Broadway Avenue in Urbana Township. The 88-year-old victim told officers three teen boys came up to him while he was on a porch and asked for money. When the victim refused to give them any money, he said the suspects surrounded him and took his money by force. The suspects are 13,14 and 16 and were taken to the Champaign County Juvenile Detention Center.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Ford County Public Health Department will be hosting a pair of flu clinics this week. Ford County Public Health Department Spokesperson Brandi Williams gives the details for this week’s flu clinics…

 

 

Ford County Public Health Department Spokesperson Brandi Williams. If you can’t make it to those flu clinics you can always schedule an appointment at the health department by calling 217-379-9281.

 

 

(Watseka-jm) -- Iroquois Memorial Hospital is announcing they have received a $10,000 grant. The Knapp Burn Foundation provided the grant for the hospital to install a new fire alarm panel.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Harvest progress continues ahead of last year’s pace as we hear in the weekly crop report. 26 percent of corn acres have now been harvested, compared to 10 percent the previous year but behind the five year average. Crop Statistician Steve Parn says 81 percent of soybeans are dropping leaves…

 

 

Crop Statistician Steve Parn. 29 percent of winter wheat has been planted and nine percent has emerged. Average statewide topsoil moisture is rated as seven percent very short, 23 percent short, 68 percent adequate and two percent surplus.

 

(Paxton--jc)  Those traveling along Interstate 57 from northern Champaign County  through Ford County, will see some slow downs due to road construction. A road project in that area begins today.

 

.(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois will be the 6th worst-represented state on election day, according to WalletHub. The consumer finance research website compared the distribution of the 50 states’ voters to the distribution of their electorates using demographic characteristics like age, race and gender. Illinois ranked No. 45.

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The State Department on Aging is urging older Illinoisans to get their flu shot

(Springfield-jm) -- There won’t be any indoor bar or restaurant service allowed in the northwestern-most counties of Illinois, per the Pritzker administration’s COVID-19 mitigation efforts. State lawmakers in the region question the state using the COVID-19 positivity rate as the trigger. They also question why bars and restaurants are being targeted when the outbreaks are happening at congregate settings. The Pritzker administration says they are targeting the industry they say they can control.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The State Department on Aging is urging older Illinoisans to get their flu shot. The flu vaccine is especially important for seniors and those with underlying medical conditions says Department on Aging Director Paula Basta…

 

 

State Department on Aging Director Paula Basta.  Basta says getting your flu shot and preventing complications also reduces the strain on the healthcare system and leaves hospital beds open for COVID-19 patients.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois House Republicans on a committee investigating House Speaker Madigan have sent ten draft subpoenas to the Democratic chairman for consideration. The subpoenas include one for Madigan and six others asked to voluntarily testify. Three other names were revealed in testimony from ComEd earlier this week where they admitted to paying $1.3 million over nearly a decade in an effort to influence the speaker.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Fall is off to a cool start in Illinois. Temperatures have been a little lower than usual says State Climatologist Trent Ford...

 

 

State Climatologist Trent Ford. September statewide precipitation was slightly above normal, and varied widely across Illinois. The U-S Drought Monitor shows central, southern and most of the eastern portions of the state as abnormally dry, with spots of moderate drought in a few areas. Ford says the eight to 14 day outlook calls for warmer and drier conditions than normal.

 

 

(Ford County-jm) -- A Hoopeston man is in the Ford County jail for allegedly attacking his brother in his home in Melvin. Harrington Matherne Jr is charged with two counts of home invasion. Police say Matherne allegedly barged into his brother's house, started an argument before striking him several times with his fist and keys and damaging a vehicle before leaving. Bond was set at $250,000. If convicted he faces 6 to 30 years in prison for each charge.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- Investigators are still working to determine what caused a house to explode in Urbana Friday. Firefighters were called to the house on Willow Drive, next to the Urbana Cracker Barrel. Patrons of the restaurant pulled an elderly man from the home. He was taken to the hospital with non life threatening injuries.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Fire Prevention Week is this week and the Paxton Fire Department is encouraging residents to be prepared in the case of a fire. Paxton Firefighter Alan Meyer talks about the importance of having a plan…

 

 

Paxton Firefighter Alan Meyer. Throughout the week we will be hi-liting safety tips from the Paxton fire department.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Paxton will be flushing hydrants this week. The city says they will flush hydrants on Monday, October 5th starting on the west side of town. Residents may notice some discoloration or loss of water pressure.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- President Donald Trump used his executive powers to defer payroll tax to help those during the Coronavirus pandemic. The order was frowned upon by Democrats in Congress like U-S Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois, who question whether people will be able to handle the situation at the beginning of the year…

 

 

U-S Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois.

 

The Community Service Center of Northern Champaign County is hosting a drive thru COVID-19 clinic today from 11 to 7.

 

(Springfield-jm) --  Education advocates said it’s imperative to get students back in classrooms because virtual learning is negating months of education and could cost students nearly a year’s earnings in adulthood, according to one analysis. Advance Illinois, a nonprofit education advocate, presented findings from a number of studies to the Joint Senate Education and Higher Education. A June study by McKinsey and Co. that estimates that, even with remote learning, the average student “could lose $61,000 to $82,000 in lifetime earnings, or the equivalent of a year of full-time work, solely as a result of COVID-19–related learning losses.”

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- State and industry officials are kicking off manufacturing month in Illinois. Illinois is the fourth largest state for manufacturing in the country, with over 18 thousand companies employing more than half a million workers says Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Director Erin Guthrie…

 

 

Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Director Erin Guthrie. Guthrie says Illinois needs to attract those companies and new jobs by providing ample training to students interested in the field. DCEO will be holding several virtual events to call attention to the manufacturing industry this month. Follow “at illinois dceo” on twitter for more details.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- President Donald Trump signed a measure to keep the federal government operating through the rest of the year. The bill includes billions for nutrition assistance, Medicare payments and funding for health centers to address COVID-19. The Illinois Farm Bureau said the measure also replenishes funds in the Commodity Credit Corporation as the state’s farmers begin harvest.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Illinoisans who step up to give the gift of life and donate blood right now could very well learn something new about their own health. Mary Scheurmann reports…

 

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The 2nd annual Wine and Chocolate walk took place Saturday in Paxton. The winner of the grand prize, a night at Cobblestone Inn and $75 in chamber bucks was Kelli Breymeyer. The best beverage winner was Hudson Drug and Hallmark. The best dessert winner was Simply Pat’s Hats. 18 businesses participated in the event. Next year’s event will be held the first Saturday in October.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Congressman John Shimkus is accepting applications for military service academy nominations. To be eligible: applicants must be American citizens at least 17 but not more than 23 years of age, not married or have legal obligations of child support and must live within the 15th Congressional District. Applications are due by October 30th and can be obtained by calling his office at 618-288-7190.

 

 

(Watseka-jm) -- Early voting is underway in Illinois. Those wanting to cast their ballots ahead of the November 3rd election can do so now either by vote by mail or at the county clerk’s office. Iroquois County Clerk Breein Suver says they have seen an increase in people voting before election day…

 

 

Iroquois County Clerk Breein Suver.

 

 

(Ford County-jm) -- The Ford County Public Health Department will be offering a pair of drive thru flu clinics this week. The first drive thru flu clinic will take place tomorrow from 9 to 11 am at Piper City Rehab. The second will take place later this week on Thursday from 1-3 pm at the American Evangelical Lutheran Church in Gibson City. Those getting their flu shot must either show proof of insurance or pay a $30 fee.

 

 

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

 

 

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An incumbent Democratic state representative running unopposed for another term announced she's also running for speaker of the Illinois House

(Springfield-jm) -- More Illinoisans filed for initial unemployment benefits last week than the week before, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. The weekly report shows at least 27,900 people filed for first-time benefits last week. That’s nearly 2,000 more than the week before and is contrary to the national trend of fewer unemployment filings.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois is among the most dangerous states for children traveling in cars. That’s according to Go Safe Labs. The nonprofit traffic safety group says a newly released national traffic safety study reveals children in Illinois are more likely to be involved in car accidents in urban versus rural areas. The national trend is more children are injured or killed in rural accidents than those in urban areas.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Agriculture announced Thursday that $5 million in business recovery grants is available for the state’s livestock industry. Livestock producers and small meat and poultry plants impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic are eligible to receive the grants, and the application period is open through October 31. Online applications for grants are available at apps dot agr dot illinois dot gov slash agr hyphen cares.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- October is Infant Safe Sleep Awareness Month. Unsafe sleep practices are a leading cause of death for children one year old and younger says Illinois Department of Children and Family Services Spokesperson Deborah Lopez…

 


 

Illinois Department of Children and Family Services Spokesperson Deborah Lopez. The crib should have a firm mattress and tightly fitted sheets. Lopez says babies should sleep on their back and if traveling, parents should plan ahead and make sure there will be a crib or pack and play in the hotel room.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health announced 2,166 new Coronavirus cases and 25 additional deaths Thursday bringing the state’s total number of cases to 295,440 and deaths to 8,696. Locally, Livingston County reported 4 new cases bringing their total to 439. McLean County reported 21 new cases bringing their total to 3,322. Champaign County reported 56 new cases and another death bringing their total number of cases to 4,793 and total deaths to 22. Vermilion County reported 31 new cases and an additional death bringing their total number of cases to 731 and total deaths to 5. Kankakee County reported 21 new cases bringing their total to 2,816. Ford and Iroquois Counties both reported no new cases.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce’s Wine and Chocolate Walk is tomorrow from 11 to 4. Chamber President Alan Meyer talks about the walk and some of the businesses participating…

 

 

Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce President Alan Meyer. Cost to participate is $20. Meyer also reminds those attending to follow social distancing and face covering guidelines.

 

 

(McLean County-jm) -- Two individuals have been arrested in connection to a string of machine shed burglaries in multiple counties. McLean County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested Tony Harris of Gibson City and Amanda Burmaster of Saybrook in Saybrook. Deputies say the pair were connected to burglaries in Ford, Champaign, DeWitt, Piatt and McLean Counties. They were charged with possession of a stolen vehicle and theft.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- A Champaign man and his wife who hoarded dogs have been sentenced to probation. Mark and Wendy Richards were each sentenced to one year probation and ordered not to possess any animals after police seized 84 dogs from the property. According to animal control some of the dogs were pregnant at the time bringing the total number to more than 120. The Richards were also ordered to pay boarding for the dogs, which cost $37,000. A dozen of the dogs had to be euthanized because of their condition.

 

 

(Watseka-jm) -- Iroquois County residents now have another way to receive emergency alerts. The Iroquois County Emergency Management Agency announced Thursday the launch of a mass notification system through Hyper Reach. The system can alert residents through text, email and phone calls about local threats, hazards and emergencies. To enroll you can call or text “ALERT” to 779-218-9348 or by calling the Iroquois County Emergency Management Agency office at 815-432-6997.

 

 

(WPXN-cf)-- Polar Vortex have been happening more often in our region. A Polar Vortex is a dry air mass that is pushed down across Canada into the Great Lakes Region. Fox 55/27 Meteorologist Doug Quick says we could see a few of those, as well as some below average temperatures this season….

 

 

Fox 55/27 Meteorologist Doug Quick.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Paxton’s Pells Park playground could be receiving some improvements. The city is looking into grants to update and modernize the park’s playground area.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Nicor Gas is reminding users they have more than $4 million remaining in their COVID-19 bill payment assistance program. The program offers a one time grant of up to $300. To be eligible you must meet and enroll in LIHEAP or Nicor’s gas sharing program.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Prices at the grocery store for meat are declining from their peaks these past Spring, but not declining as fast as some had projected. Gary Crawford has the details…

 

 

Lake Iroquois Community Garage sales will take place today and tomorrow from 8 am to 6pm.

 

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

 

The Loda American Legion will host their all you can eat fish and chicken fry this evening from 4 to 7:30 pm.

 

A mobile COVID testing site will take place on Saturday from 9 to 4 at Hoopeston Area High School.

 

Paxton IGA will be hosting a cookout benefiting Accolade Paxton Senior Living on Saturday from 10-2.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- An incumbent Democratic state representative running unopposed for another term announced she’s also running for speaker of the Illinois House. This summer, state Rep. Stephanie Kifowit said she called for current House Speaker Michael Madigan to resign amid a federal corruption probe he’s implicated in. On Thursday, she announced she’s seeking the Democratic nomination for the role in the next General Assembly that’s seated in January.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- A lawsuit filed by parents and student athletes against the Illinois High School Association seeking to allow fall sports has been denied. A DuPage County judge issued the ruling Thursday, saying that because of the pandemic, what the IHSA did was within their authority under their bylaws and constitution. The IHSA and Governor J-B Pritzker postponed football, soccer and volleyball until spring, saying they were too dangerous during the pandemic.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department on Aging is recommending all older residents get a flu vaccine. This is especially important to protect yourself and those around you from the flu while COVID-19 continues to spread. Officials say getting a vaccine will also help keep hospital beds and other medical resources available for coronavirus patients.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- It’s mating season for deer so the Illinois Department of Transportation is urging drivers to be careful on the road. More than 40 percent of all crashes involving deer occur in October, November and December. IDOT’s Paul Wappel says that’s why it’s a good idea to pay close attention as you’re driving…

 

 

IDOT Spokesperson Paul Wappel. Wappel says if you see one deer, there are likely more to follow and to be prepared in case deer stop in the middle of the road or double back. The top counties for deer-vehicle crashes last year were Cook, Madison, Sangamon, Will and Fulton.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The state now has over 295 thousand Coronavirus cases and almost 87 hundred deaths. Champaign County reported their 2nd death in as many days Thursday bringing their total to 22. Vermilion County also recorded their 5th COVID death. As for local active and recovered cases, Livingston County reported 388 have been removed from isolation, 44 cases are active with 2 hospitalized. McLean County reported 3,144 have recovered, 144 are in isolation, 11 are hospitalized with 3 in the ICU. Champaign County reported 4,388 have recovered, 383 cases are active with 5 hospitalized. Vermilion County reported 603 have been released from isolation, 116 remain in isolation and 7 are hospitalized. Kankakee County reported 2,482 have recovered, 251 cases are active and 9 are hospitalized. Iroquois County reported 371 have been released from isolation, 14 remain in isolation and 2 are hospitalized. Ford County reported 140 have been released from isolation and 19 are in isolation.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- The November election is just over a month away. Election day is November 3rd however, early voting is already underway. For those in Champaign County, county clerk Aaron Ammons has some important deadlines you need to know…

 

 

Champaign County Clerk Aaron Ammons.

 

 

(Clarence-jm) -- The trial for a Clarence man accused of firebombing a Minnesota mosque will begin one month from today. Michael Hari, the leader of the White Rabbit Militia, is the only one of the four suspects to not plead guilty. According to recent court filings, law enforcement say the group had a stockpile of guns, ammunition and bombs they allegedly planned to use against the federal government. The group also attempted to firebomb a women’s health clinic in Champaign.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Veterans in need in the Champaign area will have a place to call home. The Salvation Army Red Shield Center on North Market Street will now be able to provide overnight accommodations for up to five female veterans who are either homeless or facing a housing crisis. The veterans' stay will be short term while they transition to a pre-identified permanent housing destination. All this was made possible by a grant for the U-S Department of Veterans Affairs.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- Dozens of U of I students rallied on the campus Thursday demanding campus police be removed. The group is calling on the university to abolish the police department and instead put that money toward more social workers and crisis intervention professionals.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois home sales and prices climbed higher in August as inventory and interest rates hit historic lows. WPXN’s Jason Madden reports…

 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and the Pritzker Administration are setting aside $20 million in Rebuild Illinois funds for unsewered communities. The funds will assist with inadequate or non existent wastewater collection or treatment facilities.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul is announcing a $60 million settlement with the manufacture of surgical mesh. The settlement against C.R Bard alleges the company used deceptive marketing of transvaginal surgical mesh devices and misrepresented or failed to adequately disclose serious and or life altering risk. Illinois will receive $1.64 million out of the settlement.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- USDA's latest look at prices received by producers for commodities shows an increase from the prior month, particularly for some major row crop growers. Rod Bain reports…

 

The Old Courthouse Museum in Watseka will host a drive thru fish fry this evening from 4-7 pm.

 

Parkland College’s Staerkel Planetarium is hosting their virtual Kaler Science Lecture Series tonight at 7pm with Dr Gauthram Narayan “Looking at the Night Sky with artificially intelligent eyes”. The zoom link is available on Staerkel Planetarium’s website.

 

Christie Clinic will host a drive thru flu clinic on Saturday from 7 to noon at their location on Windsor in Champaign and in Mahomet.

 

Bellflower townwide garage sales will take place on Saturday

 

The Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce’s 2nd annual Wine and Chocolate Walk will take place on Saturday from 11 to 4:30.

 

The Cissna Park Fire Department will host their chicken supper and raffle on Sunday.

 

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Congressional leaders and the White House continue to be far apart on another Coronavirus relief bill

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois State Police is announcing a new Sexual Assault Kit tracking system. It’s called Checkpoint, and lets survivors monitor the progress of evidence collected after the attack says ISP Biology Program Manager Brenda Danosky…

 

 

Illinois State Police Biology Program Manager Brenda Danosky. Access to the Checkpoint System will be limited with unique case numbers and passwords only available to survivors and law enforcement.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Insurance helped Illinois life insurance holders collect more than $5 million in unclaimed funds. Millions of dollars in benefits go unclaimed every year. State law requires insurance companies to attempt to find the beneficiaries of deceased policyholders. To see if you are a beneficiary to an unclaimed life insurance policy visit the Illinois Department of Insurance’s website.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- October is Infant Safe Sleep Awareness Month and the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services reminds parents of the ABC’s of safe sleep. Unsafe sleep is the leading cause of death in infants younger than one. DCFS officials say a baby should sleep Alone, on his or her Back in a safe Crib. They remind parents that cribs should have a firm mattress with a tight fitted sheet with no blankets, pillows, bumper pads, stuffed animals or toys.  In 2019, 108 infants under the age of 1 died because of unsafe sleep. 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is issuing COVID-19 Halloween guidelines. Halloween is a go, but it might look a little different this year says Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike...

 

 

Illinois Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike. Ezike says if you plan on handing out candy to kids you should wear a mask and that a cloth mask should be worn under a Halloween mask. Indoor haunted houses are not allowed but open air haunted trails are ok.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 2,273 new Coronavirus cases and 35 additional deaths Wednesday bringing the state’s total number of cases to 293,274 and deaths to 8,672. Locally, McLean County reported 3 new cases bringing their total to 3,301. Champaign County reported 46 new cases and 1 additional death bringing their total number of cases to 4,737 and deaths to 21. Livingston County reported 8 new cases and 1 additional death bringing their total number of cases to 435 and deaths to 7. Ford County reported 4 new cases bringing their total to 164. Kankakee County reported 15 new cases bringing their total to 2,795. Iroquois County reported 2 new cases bringing their total to 406. Vermilion County reported 27 new cases bringing their total to 700.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- As for cases in area communities per the Illinois Department of Public Health and local health departments...312 cases in Rantoul, 170 in Mahomet, 92 in St. Joseph, 79 in Gilman, 64 in Clifton, 56 in Watseka, 48 in Paxton, 44 in Chebanse, 39 in Fairbury, 37 in Hoopeston, 36 in Fisher, 31 in Onarga, 28 in Gibson City, 23 in Forrest, 20 in Potomac, 18 in Cissna Park, 15 in Thomasboro, 14 in Ashkum, 13 each in Milford and Rossville, 12 each in Gifford and Danforth, 10 each in Piper City and Crescent City, 9 each in Foosland and Donovan, 8 each in Martinton, Saybrook and Cabery, 7 each in Buckley and Bellflower, 6 each in Loda, Ludlow, Beaverville and Cullom, 5 in Dewey and 2 in Penfield.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The 2nd annual Wine and Chocolate Walk sponsored by the Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce is set for this Saturday from 11 to 4. Chamber President Alan Meyer talks about the walk…

 

 

Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce President Alan Meyer. Meyer says 18 businesses are participating. A shuttle will be available to take you to the businesses. Meyer also reminds those participating to social distance and wear a mask.

 

 

(Fisher-jm) -- The Fisher school district is announcing dates for juniors and seniors to take the SAT and PSAT tests. Seniors can take the SAT and juniors can take the PSAT on Wednesday, October 14th.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Organizers of the Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon are hitting pause on registration for the 2021 race. Race organizers cite the continued Coronavirus pandemic and the need for a vaccine to be available for the race to take place the weekend of April 29th. They say if the situation changes they will reopen  the registration for the race.

 

(Washington-jm) -- Congressional leaders and the White House continue to be far apart on another Coronavirus relief bill. Congress leaves at the end of the month and won’t likely be back until after the election. U-S Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois says that’s not a good idea…

 

U-S Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Cats must now be leashed in the city of Paxton. The council approved the new regulations. Owners of cats picked up by animal control could face a $25 fine.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- USDA's new reports on grain stocks and wheat production had some potentially bullish numbers. Gary Crawford reports from Washington…

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The state Department of Labor is launching free COVID-19 safety training for small businesses in Illinois. The program is called “Back to Business Illinois” and is for businesses with up to 250 employees says State Labor Director Michael Kleinik…

 

State Department of Labor Director Michael Kleinik. The consultants will advise on protecting both workers and customers during the pandemic. More information is available online at: illinois dot gov slash worksafe.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- U-S Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois is introducing legislation to give unemployed Americans tax relief. The Coronavirus Unemployment Benefits Tax Relief Act would exclude the first $10,200 of unemployment compensation from federal income taxes for tax year 2020. 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul is joining 43 other attorneys general in announcing a $39.5 million settlement with insurance company Anthem over a 2014 data breach. The breach affected more than 78 million Americans. The company is also required to improve their security measures. Illinois will receive approximately $1.7 million as part of the settlement.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is issuing COVID-19 Halloween guidelines. Trick or treating is allowed, although Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike urges residents to wear a mask when handing out candy or leave candy out for kids. Additionally…

 

 

Illinois Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike. Haunted trails, pumpkin patches and hayrides that require masks and social distancing are allowed.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 2,273 new Coronavirus cases and 35 additional deaths Wednesday bringing the state’s total number of cases to 293,274 and deaths to 8,672. Champaign and Livingston Counties each reported additional deaths Wednesday. As for local active and recovered cases, McLean County reported 3,093 have recovered, 176 are in isolation, 9 are hospitalized and 1 is in the ICU. Champaign County reported 4,355 have recovered, 361 cases are active and 7 are hospitalized. Livingston County reported 380 have been removed from isolation, 48 cases are active with 2 hospitalized. Ford County reported 140 have been released from isolation while 19 remain in isolation. Kankakee County reported 2,472 have recovered, 251 cases are active with 9 hospitalized. Iroquois County reported 371 have been released from isolation, 14 are in isolation and 2 are hospitalized. Vermilion County reported 572 have been released from isolation, 113 remain in isolation and 11 are hospitalized.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The state is warning Region 6 which includes all of the WPXN listening area could be at risk for mitigations. The state says including Champaign County’s testing numbers, which includes the University of Illinois, the region's positivity rate is 2 percent. Removing those, the region’s positivity rate is 7.2 percent. IDPH says enhanced mitigations include closing indoor dining at restaurants and bars and further restricting the size of event gatherings.

 

 

(Bloomington-jm) -- The November election could have a significant impact on the political climate in the state as well as at the national level. 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington talks about the election…

 

 

53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- OSF Heart of Mary Medical Center’s Faith in Action has been awarded the Ruth Hayward grant. The $6,000 grant will assist elderly in Champaign County with food, clothing, medicine and rehab services.

 

 

(Ashkum-jm) -- District 21 Illinois State Police are announcing results of recent Occupant Restraint Enforcement Patrols. The patrols took place in Ford, Iroquois and Kankakee Counties resulting in 16 safety belt citations.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- The latest unemployment numbers came out last week. And while the number has gone down some it's not all good news says 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- The village of Rantoul will be flushing hydrants over the next couple of weeks. The village says hydrant flushing will take place this week and next week from 10 pm to 5 am.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- The USDA has just released its summary report on this season's small grains production. Gary Crawford has the details…

 

 

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Another member of Governor J-B Pritzker's staff has tested positive for COVID-19

(Springfield-jm) -- Another member of Governor J-B Pritzker's staff has tested positive for COVID-19. The governor along with all other people who came into close contact with the individual will self-isolate for the next two weeks. According to the governor's office, the staff member was tested during a weekly testing for the governor's office. The test came back negative, but after experiencing symptoms, the staff member was tested again. That test came back positive.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- If you’re having trouble paying your home energy bills, the Illinois Commerce Commission recommends discussing the situation with your utility company. In many cases, those struggling with utility costs just need to ask for help says I-C-C Chair Carrie Zalewski…

 

 

Illinois Commerce Commission Chair Carrie Zalewski. Additionally, several companies have agreed to extend the moratorium on disconnections for low income residents through the winter, including Ameren Illinois, Peoples Gas, ComEd, Nicor Gas and North Shore Gas.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 1,362 new Coronavirus cases and 23 additional deaths Tuesday bringing the state’s total number of cases to 291,001 and deaths to 8,637. Locally, Ford County reported 5 new cases bringing their total number to 160. Livingston County reported 5 new cases bringing their total to 427. Vermilion County reported 18 new cases bringing their total to 673. McLean County reported 8 new cases bringing their total to 3,298. Kankakee County reported 6 new cases and 1 additional death bringing the total number of cases to 2,780 and deaths to 72. Champaign County reported 42 new cases bringing their total to 4,691. Iroquois County reported no new cases leaving their total at 404.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health along with area health departments are reporting case numbers in local communities. Rantoul’s case total is at 310. 169 in Mahomet, 92 in St. Joseph, 79 in Gilman, 64 in Clifton, 55 in Watseka, 48 in Paxton, 44 in Chebanse, 39 in Fairbury, 37 in Hoopeston, 36 in Fisher, 31 in Onarga, 28 in Gibson City, 23 in Forrest, 19 in Potomac, 18 in Cissna Park, 15 in Thomasboro, 14 in Ashkum, 13 each in Rossville and Milford, 12 each in Gifford and Danforth, 10 each in Piper City and Crescent City, 9 each in Foosland and Donovan, 8 each in Saybrook, Martinton and Cabery, 7 each in Buckley and Bellflower, 6 each in Loda, Ludlow, Beaverville and Cullom, 5 in Dewey and 1 in Penfield.

 

 

(Watseka-jm) -- Autopsy results on one of the inmates who died at the Iroquois County Jail last month is complete. Iroquois County Coroner Bill Cheatum says Andre Maiden died from an overdose of fentanyl and heroin. The investigation is still ongoing. Results on a second inmate, Jason Fancher, who died at the jail has not yet been released.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- September is coming to a close and tomorrow we start October. How does the climatological outlook for the month look? State Climatologist Trent Ford has those details…

 

 

State Climatologist Trent Ford.

 

 

(Iroquois County-jm) -- Paxton and Buckley fire crews were called to a fire on I-57 Tuesday afternoon. Crews were called to the rest area for a truck with a camper on fire. No injuries were reported.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- EnterpriseWorks, the tech incubator at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Research Park, is a recipient of a grant through the U.S. Small Business Administration. The SBA grant, worth $125,000, intends to support the growth and development of tech companies across the state. U of I's Research Park is one of 24 awardees nationwide.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Last week was Child Passenger Safety Week in Illinois. State law requires children to be in a safety seat until the age of 8 and face rear facing until the age of 2. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City provides some statistics…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Construction on a new city storage shed in Paxton won’t happen until next year. Due to a shortage of construction materials available, the new shed won’t be built until 2021 instead of this fall. The existing shed caught fire in late May destroying several pieces of city equipment.

 

 

(Buckley-jm) -- There will be no 15 minute or handicap parking along Route 45 in Buckley. The village board looked into the issue at their recent meeting. The village learned that if they were to move forward with handicap parking, they would have to make the area to meet ADA requirements.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- The USDA is about to release two important reports of major interest to grain producers and traders--grain stocks and small grains production. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- A joint hearing of the Senate Criminal Law and Public Safety Committees on Tuesday took up the subject of drug sentencing reform. In 2015, then-Governor Bruce Rauner created a criminal justice task force to identify areas of the criminal justice system that could be reformed that would result in a 25% reduction in the prison population by 2025. Advocates say the best way to start is to change how the state responds to low-level drug felonies.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Secretary of State Jesse White’s Office says paying by check online will be free through the end of the year. The state is waiving the e-check processing fee until December 31st. The goal is to get more people to take care of things like renewing their license plate sticker online says Secretary White…

 

 

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White. You can also get a duplicate license or ID card online and renew your driver’s license if you qualify for the safe driver renewal program. The Secretary of State’s website is: cyber drive illinois dot com.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois has over 291,000 Coronavirus cases and 8,637 deaths after the state reported 1,362 new cases and 23 additional deaths Tuesday. Kankakee County reported their 72nd death Tuesday. As for local active and recovered cases, Ford County reported 139 have been released from isolation while 16 remain in isolation. Livingston County reported 380 have been removed from isolation, 41 cases are active with 3 hospitalized. Vermilion County reported 569 have been released from isolation with 100 active cases. McLean County reported 3,088 have recovered, 178 are in isolation and 9 are hospitalized. Kankakee County reported 2,459 have recovered, 249 cases are active and 12 are hospitalized. Champaign County reported 4,315 have recovered, 356 cases are active and 8 are hospitalized. Iroquois County reported 370 have been released from isolation, 13 remain in isolation and 2 are hospitalized.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting 29,517 Coronavirus cases and 4,642 Coronavirus deaths have been at long term care facilities in the state. According to IDPH, 132 cases and 18 deaths have been at facilities in Iroquois County. 53 cases and 3 deaths have been at facilities in Ford County. 72 cases and 5 deaths have been at facilities in Champaign County. 17 cases and no deaths at facilities in Vermilion County. 99 cases and 12 deaths at facilities in McLean County. 12 cases and 1 death at facilities in Livingston County. 537 cases and 46 deaths at facilities in Kankakee County.

 

 

(Gilman-cf)-- This summer seemed to be one of the better growing seasons for local crops due to the amount of moisture that the area had. Ford-Iroquois Farm Bureau Manager David Treece has the details, heading into harvest.

 

 

Ford-Iroquois Farm Bureau Manager David Treece

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- The president and CEO of the Eastern Illinois Foodbank announced retirement plans yesterday. Jim Hires has served the organization for the past 15 years. He will continue to serve as president and CEO until the position is filled or his planned final day of April 2, 2021.

 

 

(Bloomington-jm) -- A bird on Bloomington’s east side has tested positive for the West Nile Virus. The McLean County Health Department reminds that even with the cooler temperatures, west nile is still around in mosquitos. They say you should remove stagnant water from your property, wear long sleeves when outside during peak mosquito hours and wear insect repellent that contains DEET.

 

 

(Champaign-cf)-- There hasn’t been much precipitation in the winter months the last few seasons. The average precipitation in the winter in the WPXN area is usually 30 inches in total. Fox 55/27 Meteorologist Doug Quick details how we could see around the same amount this winter season, but that there are other issues we could see this year… 

 

 

Fox 55/27 Meteorologist Doug Quick.

 

 

(Champaign County-jm) -- Champaign County has renewed participation in an electric aggregation program. The county negotiated the 100 percent green energy for December 2020 through December 2022 at a cost of 0.04543 per kilowatt hour. Notices were sent out to all residents. Champaign County residents will be automatically enrolled unless they opt out by October 30th.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Ameren says it plans to invest $8 billion in renewable energy projects during the next two decades, with a goal of reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 across Illinois and Missouri. The company says it plans to reduce carbon emissions 50% by 2030 and 85% by 2040, based on 2005 levels. It also will eventually close its coal-based power plants, starting with the retirement of the Meramec Energy Center in 2022 and ending with the final coal-power plant closing in 2042.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- What's in store for pork production and hog prices? Rod Bain has the latest from Washington…

 

 

 

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Officials are moving forward with a lawsuit against Governor J-B Pritzker regarding the executive orders he issued in response to the COVID-19 pandemic

(Springfield-jm) -- The special investigative committee that is investigating Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan is set to meet for a second time. The committee will meet at 2pm today. This comes after Madigan was implicated in a federal bribery scheme involving Chicago utility company Commonwealth Edison.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- A national judicial watchdog group has sued the state of Illinois and Illinois elections officials over voter roll access. Judicial Watch this month filed the federal lawsuit, claiming officials failed to allow meaningful public access to its voter roll data after a request in 2019. The group says in Illinois, it found more registered voters than citizens over 18 in 14 of 102 counties with a total of 660,000 inactive registrants.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Federally Qualified Health Centers in Illinois and other health facilities that have been on the front lines in the state’s battle against COVID-19 are in line to receive $140 million in grants to help them maintain operations. Federally Qualified Health Centers have accounted for a large part of the state’s COVID-19 testing program where tests are available free of charge, regardless of a person’s ability to pay or citizenship status.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- It was another dry week for Illinois farm fields as we hear in the weekly crop report. Rainfall was nearly an inch below normal this past week, leaving average statewide topsoil moisture at 11 percent very short, 25 percent short, 62 percent adequate and two percent surplus. State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener gives an update on the soybean crop…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 73 percent of corn is mature and 13 percent has been harvested. Eight percent of winter wheat has been planted.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois reported 1,709 new Coronavirus cases and 13 additional deaths bringing the state’s total number of cases to 289,639 and deaths to 8,614. Locally, since Friday, McLean County reported 63 new cases and one additional death bringing their total number of cases to 3,290 and deaths to 23. Champaign County reported 142 new cases bringing their total to 4,649. Ford County reported 9 new cases bringing their total to 155. Vermilion County reported 52 new cases bringing their total to 655. Livingston County reported 32 new cases bringing their total to 422. Iroquois County reported 5 new cases bringing their total to 404. Kankakee County reported 40 new cases bringing their total to 2,774.

 

 

(Bloomington-jm) -- One area lawmaker is speaking out against a proposed constitutional amendment before voters in the November election that would change the state’s tax structure from a flat tax rate to a progressive income tax. 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman says the Governor’s proposed plan is not in the best interest of the state…

 

53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Rantoul police are investigating a report of shots fired in the village over the weekend. An officer was in the area of Klein Avenue, heard gunshots and found several shell casings in the area of Congress and Century. A vehicle was struck by the gunfire. No injuries were reported.

 

(Champaign County-jm) -- Champaign County is seeking applicants for several vacancies. The vacancies include positions on cemetery boards and drainage districts as well as on the Eastern Prairie and Pesotum Fire Boards and the counties Zoning Board of Appeals. Details are available on the counties website.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Politicians on both sides of the isle continue to debate another round of Coronavirus relief. One of the major sticking points is money for state and local governments. U-S Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois says not approving money could cause other issues…

 

U-S Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- 52nd District State Senator Scott Bennett of Champaign is encouraging local small businesses to apply for the 2nd round of Business Interruption Grants from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. The grants can help businesses with expenses related to COVID-19 or civil unrest. More details are available on the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunities website.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Paxtons former public works director was recognized recently. Mark LeClair retired after 42 years with the city. LeClair was named Wastewater System Operators Specialist of the Year. He started in 1978. LeClair will stay on as a consultant.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Officials are moving forward with a lawsuit against Governor J-B Pritzker regarding the executive orders he issued in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The lawsuit was filed by Christian County Board Member Ray Koonce. He filed the lawsuit as a private citizen, not as a member of the Christian County Board. The lawsuit alleges that Illinois residents' " fundamental rights to associate with friends and family have been unjustifiably infringed" by Pritzker's executive orders 2020-10, which issued the stay at home order, and 2020-18, which extended the stay at home order.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, plans to introduce a bill this week that would expand protection for dogs. The Puppy Protection Act would create stronger standards for housing, veterinary care, and breeding for dogs. The legislation would ensure that dogs within a breeder's care have access to outdoor areas, suitable and safe enclosures, and regular interaction with other dogs and humans.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Hayrides and haunted hayrides with capacity restrictions are allowed amid COVID-19 concerns after the Pritzker administration reversed course. Documents showed hayrides were prohibited, but an update said the events can proceed with distancing and masking guidelines. Haunted houses must remain closed.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- It was another dry week for Illinois farm fields as we hear in the weekly crop report. Precipitation was below normal, leaving plenty of time for harvest in the fields. 60 percent of soybeans are dropping leaves and 11 percent has been harvested. State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says 72 percent of soybean acres are in good to excellent condition. Looking at corn...

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 73 percent of the corn crop is in good to excellent condition and eight percent of winter wheat has been planted.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois now has 289,639 Coronavirus cases and 8,614 deaths according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. As for local active and recovered cases, McLean County reported 3,074 have recovered, 186 are in isolation and 7 are hospitalized including 1 in the intensive care unit. Champaign County reported 4,292 have recovered, 337 cases are active with 5 hospitalized. Ford County reported 137 have been released from isolation while 13 remain in isolation. Vermilion County reported 551 have been released from isolation and 100 cases are active. Livingston County reported 375 have been removed from isolation, 41 cases are active with 3 hospitalized. Iroquois County reported 362 have been released from isolation, 21 remain in isolation and 2 are hospitalized. Kankakee County reported 2,448 have recovered, 255 cases are active with 9 hospitalized.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- As students attend school remotely this fall, the National Fire Protection Association is urging added caution around using and charging laptops and other electrical devices at home. WPXN’s Jason Madden has the details…

 

 

 

(Hoopeston-jm) -- Six vehicles were damaged following a two vehicle accident in Hoopeston. The accident occurred on south Dixie Highway. The impact of the collision sent one of the vehicles into the parking lot of the Ford dealership where it struck four other vehicles. One person was taken to the hospital with unknown injuries.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- University of Illinois police are investigating after a student had her car stolen. The student was walking from her car in lot D6 near the intersection of Goodwin and Illinois when a man asked her what time it was before stealing her keys and leaving with her car. The vehicle was later recovered however the suspect is still at large.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Last week was Child Passenger Safety Week in Illinois. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City explains state requirements when it comes to child seats…

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Gibson City Police have released their recent activity. On September 24th, Glenda Wittemann was arrested for allegedly driving under the influence of drugs. On September 25th, Justin Durham of Saybrook was arrested for an in state warrant.

 

 

(Danville-jm) -- The Vermilion County Public Health Department will be hosting a series of drive thru flu clinics this week. The clinics will take place October 1st from 8-11, October 2nd from 2-6, October 3rd from 9-1 and October 8th from 8-11. The flu clinic scheduled for today at St. Mary’s in Westville is postponed due to a shipping issue. Those coming to get their flu shots must bring their insurance card.

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Becky Puetz & Mr. Dan Gee
Becky Puetz & Mr. Dan Gee
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