CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois dispensaries are staffing up and remodeling in preparation for the legalization of recreational marijuana. The General Assembly approved the marijuana legislation last week and it now awaits a signature from Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker. If he signs, Illinois will become the 11th state, along with the District of Columbia, to permit recreational use. Companies already in the medical marijuana market said expansion to meet recreational needs could result in a hiring boom.


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois Emergency Management Agency has mobilized its third round-the-clock team to assist the flooding fight in Monroe County. IEMA Director Alicia Tate-Nadeau said Saturday that the latest Joint Quick Reactionary Task Force will be based in Valmeyer along the Mississippi River. The other two are in Hardin and Jerseyville. Tate-Nadeau says the teams are responsible for monitoring levees, providing manpower to bolster levees and assist the community in an emergency setting.


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — A group is recommending that the University of Illinois erect a plaque or monument to commemorate the history of Chief Illiniwek, the mascot who was dropped amid much criticism in 2007. The Chancellor's Commission on Native Imagery says the site outside Memorial Stadium, as well as a public retirement, could provide "healing and reconciliation." The group also recommends regular activities involving the university and Native Americans who consider Illinois to be their ancestral home.


(Undated--jc)  -- Students from across Illinois who are members of Future Farmers of America will descend on the capitol city Tuesday for their annual convention.There’ll be new executive officers selected for the coming year.This year’s FFA executive officers in Illinois were the first all-female board. The FFA President  this year has been Sophia Horton from Fisher.



(Champaign--jc)  The May numbers are in for May weather. Illinois Water Survey in Champaign Spokesperson Brian Kerschner says May was one of the wettest on record…



Illinois Water Survey-Champaign Spokesperson Brian Kerschner


(Springfield--jc)  -- If Illinois voters approve a constitutional amendment to change the state’s flat income tax to a structure with higher rates on higher earners, a tax professional says it will hurt jobs. Leonard and Associates Managing Partner Michael Leonard said higher taxes on small businesses will hurt their offerings to employees and may trigger them to invest in other states. Governor J.B. Pritzker signed the proposed rates that would only take effect if voters approve the idea at  the ballot box in November of next year.


(Urbana--jc)  --University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign finished first in a ranking of best library and information studies programs by U.S. News The local school’s peer assessment score was 4.7. The study ranked master’s degree programs on a scale of 1 being low and 5 being outstanding.Deans, directors and senior faculty members provided the assessment information. U.S. News calculated the numerical rank for these programs but did not publish the information for editorial reasons.



(Rantoul--jc)  -- The Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce has its first Summertime Free movie coming on Friday night. Executive Director Belynda Allen says they will show the movie Ralph-Breaks the Internet…



Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Belynda Allen


CHICAGO (AP) — An unusually wet spring resulted in a delay in the planting of the Illinois corn crop.The U.S. Department of Agriculture says as of June 2, Illinois farmers have sown corn seed in 45% of the acreage dedicated to the crop. That is 53% below the five-year average. Of the seeds that have been laid, only 32% have emerged.Rodney Weinzierl of the Illinois Corn Growers Association last Wednesday counted three rainstorms moving over the Bloomington area. Each narrowly missed his 500 acres of farmland, allowing him his first opportunity to plant this year. He worked through the day to get two-thirds of his corn seeds in the ground.


(Springfield--jc)  -- Local governments in Illinois can now see just how much they, and their neighbors, are getting in tax money from the state. The Illinois Department of Revenue's latest addition to its website is designed to let officials cities, towns, and counties know exactly what they're getting from the state.  The MyLocalTax section provides the latest numbers on the local share of sales taxes, gas taxes and dozens of other taxes collected by the state and sent back to local governments.


(Paxton--jc)  -- A drainage Water Way  cleaning and M-F-T Bids hilite the Paxton City Council meeting Tuesday night. City council members will also look to approve some street repairs and patching. Purchasing a new pump for the Vermilion Street Lift Station, approving a collections day for PRIDE in Paxton on July 27th and a solar energy savings program are all agenda items. The Paxton City Council meets at 7 tomorrow night on the second floor of city hall.



(Rantoul--jc)  -- One reason that the village of Rantoul is set to host the World Punkin’ Chuckin’ Contest is the organizers were actively seeking a new site.  A portion of the former Chanute Air Force base in the village was a perfect site. Rantoul Village Administrator Scott Eisenhauer says the village and area are glad they chose Rantoul…


Rantoul Village Administrator Scott Eisenhauer

Officials from the group continue to develop their plans for the November First through Third event that will bring 10 thousand plus visitors to the local area from around the state, national and several foreign countries.



(Melvin--dg)  --Tickets are being sold for the Melvin fire department’s annual raffle, which will award as prizes either $500 in cash or a choice of one of five guns or a gun safe. The drawing will be held June 29 in conjunction with the Ford County Fair’s demolition derby. Raffle tickets cost $10 each and can be purchased at RTD Auto in Roberts at 217-395-2180, AHW in Melvin, BCS in Gibson City or from any Melvin firefighter.



(Springfield--jc)  -- The Illinois Lottery could soon offer sports betting at retail locations as part of recently passed gambling legislation in Springfield. Senate Bill 690, approved at the tail end of the legislative session, would create a pilot program to allow the Illinois Lottery to offer sports wagering. Additionally, the bill also allows for six new casinos in Illinois and legalizes sports wagering. The Illinois Lottery pilot program would allow for up to 2,500 sports betting locations across the State of Illinois in the program’s first year. An additional 2,500 locations could open in the second year, for a total of 5,000 locations in the first two years of the program. The locations would be Lottery retail outlets.



(Rantoul--jc)  -- Rantoul Township High School board members will look to set wages for bus drivers at their monthly meeting on Monday night. An awning project, bus purchase and the approval of a band trip will also be discussed. The Rantoul Township High School Board meets on Monday night at 7 at the high school.



(Watseka--jc)  -- Iroquois County board members are looking to provide a 75 percent tax abatement for one county business when they meet this morning in monthly session. Gilman based Incobrasa has requested the abatement for a 10 year period. County leaders are also expected to vote on a solar ordinance and vote on a resolution to oppose a firearms Identification Owners Card Act. The Iroquois County board meets at 9  this morning in Watseka.


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