CHICAGO (AP) — The Reverend Jesse Jackson is urging President Donald Trump to pardon former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich for his corruption crimes. Jackson and his son, Jesse Jackson Junior., say Blagojevich's 14-year prison sentence was "unfair and unnecessary." They say he was a governor who "cared for the people." Blagojevich has served half of his sentence. He asked Trump last year to commute, or shorten, it. The president has talked about releasing the ex-governor but no action has been taken


(Springfield--ba) More than half of the gun dealers in Illinois licensed with the federal government have yet to apply for a state license. The Firearm Dealers Licensing Act takes effect today. The law requires a state license with a host of new regulations on top of a federal license. Small businesses say it’s too burdensome. The ATF said as of June this year there were 2,351 licensed dealers in Illinois. Illinois State Police say only 1,140 have applied for the state license.



(Washington--ba) -- The Labor Department has announced plans to modernize a long-time guest worker agricultural labor program, with reaction to the news from the Agriculture Secretary. USDA’s Rod Bain reports.



(Springfield--ba) -- The outcome of a challenge brought by a coalition of road builders against Cook County could determine how the so-called transportation Lockbox Amendment will be implemented across the state. The amended requires certain taxes to be used for infrastructure. The builders sued Cook County for using revenue from transportation-related taxes for criminal justice projects instead.


(Undated--jc)  -- Now that Chicago’s visiting alligator has been caught, officials remind the public that reptiles do not make good pets. It is illegal to own an alligator in Illinois unless you have a special permit says I-D-N-R Herpetologist Scott Ballard…



Illinois Department of Natural Resources Herpetologist Scott Ballard


(Watseka--jc)  -- An Iroquois County man was sentenced to 9  years in prison on Tuesday in Iroquois County Court. The Times reports that Jerry Pintelton of Watseka was sentenced yesterday for a shooting incident that happened in Watseka in August of 20-15


(Undated--jc)  -- Ameren Illinois presented the Eastern Illinois Foodbank with a 4 thousand dollar grant to help fund three food mobiles that will supply approximately 30 thousand pounds of food to 300-450 households.  Eastern Illinois Foodbank provides food to agencies like food pantries, soup kitchens, snack programs and shelters who serve individuals and families struggling with hunger due to poverty in the local area. 



(Gifford--jc)  -- Gifford Grade school leaders are looking at options to deal with water issues on the school’s parking lot areas.  Superintendent Jay Smith also informed the board on Monday that the annual audit will be completed by the end of July and taxes are starting to trickle in from the county. 



(Rankin--jc)  An ice cream social is set for Rankin this evening  Grace Lutheran Church is the venue for the event from 5pm to 7pm. On the menu is sandwiches, salads, pies, cake and homemade ice cream.  A free will donation will be taken.


(Chicago--jc-- Illinois lost 114,000 people  to other states, or roughly 313 residents per day according to U.S. Census Bureau data.The state’s outmigration crisis is due to primarily working-age residents between the ages of 25 and 54 looking for work elsewhere.From July 2017 to July 2018, Illinois’ population shrank by more than 45,000 people, behind only New York for the worst raw population decline in the nation.Since 2014, when Illinois’ population decline began, the state has lost more than 157,000 people – or the equivalent to losing one of its largest cities. Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s budget proposals this year included 19 taxes and fees totaling $6.9 billion, according to the Illinois Policy Institute.



(Springfield--ba) You might want to get some yard work done this morning because  the rest of the week, much of the state will have excessive heat. Temperatures in central Illinois could be up to 96 in some areas with plenty of sunshine. Be sure to stay hydrated and stay out of direct sunlight. 



(Rantoul--jc)  -- Registration is now underway in Rantoul for co-recreational softball. A 250 dollar fee is also due per team and the deadline to enter your team is August 19th. More information is found by contacting the Rantoul Recreation Department at 893-5700. Games begin on August 29th


(Springfield--ba) --The Illinois lottery is celebrating the nation's first-ever lottery week. The lottery has contributed over 20 billion dollars in revenue to the state since 1985. A good chunk of that goes towards education, as well as capital projects and special causes says spokesperson Jason Schaumburg. Local businesses benefit as well.



Illinois Lottery Spokesperson Jason Schaumburg



DECATUR, Ill. (AP) — Fishermen with a net are removing thousands of Asian carp from Lake Decatur dam in central Illinois. The Herald and Review reports that the effort began Monday, days after the state was told that many fish were gathering there. The invasive species will be trucked to a company in Bushnell, which will process them for fish meal and fish oil. Kevin Irons of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources says some fish appear to be 20 to 30 pounds. The net is 30 feet deep.



(Cullom--jc)  -- Tri Point school leaders have set their budget hearing for fiscal year 20-20. That hearing is set for Monday August 19th at 6-45pm in the Tri Point Board room. The tentative budget is on public display at the district office.  


(Paxton--jc)  -- Ford County leaders continue to look  at options on 2 point 77 million dollars in escrow funds concerning roads in the county and the Kelly Creek Wind Farm. The funds are part of a settlement in a dispute over road repairs made after the wind farm’s construction. More on the topic is expected in August at the Ford County Board meeting.


CHICAGO (AP) — Planned Parenthood of Illinois says it will stop accepting federal funds because of new Trump administration rules barring family planning clinics from referring women for abortions. The administration notified clinics Monday that in the addition the abortions the clinics perform must be financially separate from services supported by the grant dollars. Spokeswoman Julie Lynn said Tuesday that Planned Parenthood of Illinois will not accept federal funds as long as the regulations are in effect.



(Crescent City--jc)  -- What do Grace Alhden of Ashkum,  Taylor Hasselbring of Cissna Park, Abigail Wagner of Milford, Samantha Jensen of Onarga, Brianne Miller of Donovan and Morgan Gash of Hoopeston have in common? They are the 6 ladies vying to become the 20-19 Miss Iroquois County Fair Queen. The pageant is set for tonight at 8pm at the Iroquois County fairgrounds north of Crescent City along Route 49.

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