WPXN Blog

(Undated--jc) Severe weather moved quickly through East Central Illinois on Sunday afternoon. A tornado touchdown was reported near Gilman, Sunday afternoon. Hail, heavy rains and strong winds were also reported throughout the area. 

 

(Springfield--ba)   --It’s not just Illinois most expensive budget that begins Monday, it’s also the day the state's gas tax will double to pay for a $45 billion statewide capital spending plan. Governor  J.B. Pritzker said families affected by the higher taxes can look to the yet-to-be-approved progressive income tax for relief. Today marks the beginning of the new fiscal year. With the governor's signature of a pair of bills Friday, it also marks a doubling of the state’s gas tax, increased diesel taxes, increased vehicle registration fees and other driving fees for Illinoisans. The tax increases will pay for a six-year, $45 billion infrastructure plan.

 

CHICAGO (AP) — Prosecutors who secured a guilty verdict this week against a former University of Illinois doctoral student for killing a visiting scholar from China have suggested it won't ever be possible to recover her remains. They made that assertion in a filing unsealed Friday. It's a response to Brendt Christensen's lawyers, who said he offered after his 2017 arrest to plead guilty and divulge where Yingying Zhang's remains were for a life sentence.

 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Gas prices are going up today in Illinois. Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker has signed into law a $45 billion capital plan to build and upgrade bridges, roads, schools and parks. It will be paid for by expanding gambling and make it more expensive to do things like drive and smoke cigarettes. Pritzker signed the plan on Friday in Springfield. The new gas tax is 19 cents per gallon higher than they were on Sunday.

 

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois officials say a survey this month for Asian carp in Chicago-area waterways found no trace of the invasive fish. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources said Friday it teamed up with the Illinois Natural History Survey, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the June 3-14 investigation of 602 sites for fish and surveillance of more than 400 sites for environmental.

 

 

(Loda--jc)  A music in the park event is set for an area pavilion. The group Prairie City and Friends is set to perform at the Robinson Pavilion on Sunrise Drive at Bayles Lake later this month. The concert will start at 6pm Sunday July 14th. A free will offering will be collected to benefit the United Methodist Children’s homes in Illinois. Picnic tables are available for seating, or you may bring your own lawn chairs. 

 

 

CHICAGO (AP) — Gov. J.B. Pritzker has created a task force to look at the rights of transgender students in Illinois. The Chicago Democrat signed an executive order on Sunday, the day of Pride Parades nationwide including in Chicago. The order also directs the Illinois State Board of Education to protect the rights of transgender and gender-nonconforming students, including publishing resources on legal rights. A similar event was also held in Paxton. 

 

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — A federal judge who was removed from hearing criminal cases last summer as he was presiding over two of Illinois' highest-profile cases will be resuming all his duties in September. The  News-Gazette reports that a judicial panel admonished Judge Colin Bruce for exchanging emails with a U.S. attorney's office employee about one of his trials but concluded his decision-making on the bench wasn't affected.

 

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Leaders of the Evangelical Covenant Church have voted to defrock a Minneapolis pastor and expel his church for permitting gay marriage. The Rev. Dan Collison had his credentials removed at the Evangelical Covenant Church's annual meeting in Omaha, Nebraska, on Friday night. Leaders also voted to expel Collison's First Covenant Church, a founding member of the 134-year-old denomination. A Michigan pastor also was defrocked for officiating at his son's same-sex marriage.

 

 

(Springfield--jc)  -- The legalization of recreational marijuana might have the unintended consequence of shrinking the already small pool of potential truck drivers in Illinois, but Matt Hart, executive director of the Illinois Trucking Association, said his organization is pleased the legislature maintained federal standards for his industry. Hart added the at the end of the day, safety is the top concern at the Illinois Trucking Association.Traces of marijuana can remain in a person’s system for up to 30 days or more, unlike alcohol, which for most people is metabolized in hours. Therefore, someone can test positive for marijuana days or even weeks after using the drug.

 

 

(Springfield--jc)  -- Illinois pharmacies are supporting House Bill 465, which would establish new state oversight of pharmacy benefit managers if signed into law by Governor J.B. Pritzker. Garth Reynolds, executive director at Illinois Pharmacists Association, says the bill establishes an oversight enforcement mechanism for pharmacy benefit managers in Illinois for the first time.  Reynolds adds that pharmacy benefit managers are subcontractors of health insurance, mainly the medical side and as subcontractors, pharmacists have not really fit into the current insurance code the way it is in Illinois.”

 

(Paxton--jc)  -- Paxton’s Old Fashioned 4th of July is set for Thursday, but the festivities begin in a renovated Pells Park Pavilion on Wednesday. The 20-19 Little Mister and Little Miss contest is set for 6 on Wednesday night. A full day of activities continues on Thursday with patriotic music, food and the official WPXN City of Paxton watermelon eating contest Thursday afternoon . There will be fireworks at night on Thursday in Paxton

 

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