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The US Department of Agriculture is investing $18 million in Illinois to improve rural broadband internet service

(Springfield-jm) -- Nine Democratic lawmakers are calling on Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul to investigate the business practices of the College Board and sale of data it collects from students who take the SAT and PSAT exams.  The College Board’s practice of selling student data through its program called Student Search Service was the subject of national news reports by the New York Times and Washington Post, among others. In May, a representative from the College Board, Todd Iverson, confirmed to the state Senate Judiciary Committee that the company sells access to data from Illinois students for 45 cents per student. That testimony came as the panel was considering legislation to strengthen the state’s Student Online Personal Protection Act.


URBANA, Ill. (AP) — University of Illinois officials continue to investigate anti-Semitic incidents at the Urbana-Champaign campus, including the painting Monday of a swastika in the school's Foreign Languages Building. In an email to students and staff, Chancellor Robert Jones saysa student also raised concerns about ""anti-Semitic content" at a staff development program for university housing workers. Jones said the two incidents "challenge our fundamental values of tolerance and inclusion."


(Springfield-jm) -- A state task force recommends consolidating downstate and suburban police and fire pensions. There are nearly 650 of these small, local pension systems and Governor J-B Pritzker says consolidating their assets would produce higher rates of return and give relief to taxpayers…


Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Under the plan, the separate pension systems would be consolidated into just two, one for police and one for fire. Pritzker says he’d like lawmakers to pass the proposal when they return for the fall veto session later this month. 



(Piper City-jm) -- Piper City’s Branch Park will receive some much needed upgrades. Village trustees approved putting mulch down instead of pea gravel under the new playground equipment and the existing merry-go-round and monkey bars. The village will also install new baby and inclusion swings. The work will be done by a local business.


(Paxton-jm) -- The Ford County Public Health Department is holding flu clinics throughout the county during the month of October. Ford County Public Health Department Administrator Lana Sample says one of those clinics is happening this weekend…



Ford County Public Health Department Administrator Lana Sample.



(Rantoul-jm) -- A local state representative will hold traveling office hours in Rantoul today. State Representative Mike Marron will hold office hours from 9-11 am at the Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce office in downtown Rantoul. 



(Undated-jm) -- The US Department of Agriculture is investing $18 million in Illinois to improve rural broadband internet service. The money comes from grants from the Community Connect Grant Program and the Rural Broadband Access Loan. USDA officials say it will open a new world of commerce, education and healthcare in rural communities.

(Washington-jm) -- USDA forecasts for corn and soybean production this month reflect an adjustment down for each of those crops. Rod Bain has the details…




(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois saw nearly $40 billion in taxes in 2018, a nearly 5% increase from 2017. The data comes from the U-S Census Bureau’s annual survey of state and government tax collections. The majority came from sales and income taxes.


(Undated--jc)  Halloween is three weeks away. How much is spent on goodies and costumes and what is the favorite Halloween candy in the state. Joel Cluver has the details..



The Iroquois County Public Health Department will hold a flu clinic today from 9 to 10:30 at the Iroquois Farmers State Bank in Iroquois and from 12 to 2 at Beaverville Hardware.


A Rules of the Road review course will be held today from 10 to noon at the Gibson City Telecare.


Paxton IGA and Boy Scout Troop 32 will host a ribeye steak sandwich cookout from 10 until 2 on Saturday at the Paxton IGA.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A National Public Radio station licensed by the University of Illinois is objecting to a requirement that its reporters tell school officials about confidential complaints of university-related sexual harassment they receive. NPR Illinois published a letter late Thursday arguing that the First Amendment exempts its reporters, who are university employees, from a requirement to report sexual misconduct.


(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois State Police are loosening their policy to draw more potential new hires. Next year those wanting to join will no longer need a bachelor’s degree in order to apply. Illinois State Police cite a decline in troopers for the reason in the change. They say in 2009 2,119 troopers were out on the roads. This year that number is down to 1,767.


(Springfield-jm) -- This is Cyber Security Month in Illinois and experts say keeping your information safe starts with a solid password. Your password should be hard to crack, but doesn’t have to be overly complicated says State Chief Information Security Officer Adam Ford. He recommends a phrase like “I like Pizza,” then adding a symbol and a number. Ford says you also shouldn’t use the same password for everything…



State Chief Information Security Officer Adam Ford. Ford says you should change your password often and do not write it down anywhere. 


(Ashkum-jm) -- District 21 Illinois State Police troopers have announced several upcoming special patrols in Ford, Iroquois and Kankakee Counties. Troopers will be conducting Occupant Restraint Enforcement Patrols on October 29th, November 19th and November 25th. Troopers will be conducting Special Traffic Enforcement Patrols on November 16th, 17th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 27th, 30th and December 1st. Those patrols will focus on the fatal four: DUI, seatbelts, speeding and distracted driving.


(Buckley-jm) -- Buckley residents don’t have to go far to get their groceries. Mayor Sherry Stachura says the villages grocery store is open and ready for business…



Buckley Mayor Sherry Stachura.



(Ford County-jm) -- The Governor Thomas Ford Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution are accepting entries for their annual American history essay contest. The contest is open to all Ford County students. There are two classes, 5th through 8th grades and high school. Essays must be received by November 29th. For more information, call Carol George at 847-855-9036.


(Washington-jm) -- Get ready for another round of U.S./China trade talks this week. Gary Crawford reports…




(Undated-jm) -- Illinois is the least tax friendly state in the country according to a new report. The report shows property taxes in Illinois are the second highest in the country with a home assessed at $100,000 paying approximately $2,400 in taxes. The report also found the local and state sales tax is the 7th highest in the country at 8 point 78 percent. The bad news continues for the state. The state’s gas tax is the third highest in the country and tax on cell phones puts the state at number one at 20 point 91 percent. The only bright spot in the report is Illinois’ income tax of 4.95 percent comes in slightly higher than surrounding states.



CHICAGO (AP) — Exelon says in a new public filing that it and its electric utility, ComEd, have received a second federal subpoena asking about lobbying in Illinois and communications with a state senator whose offices the FBI recently raided. The Securities and Exchange Commission filing Wednesday says last week’s subpoena “requires production of records of any communications with certain individuals and entities,” including state Sen. Martin Sandoval. Authorities haven’t disclosed the purpose of multiple raids this year at homes and offices of Illinois Democrats. Agents entered Sandoval’s Capitol office last month.


Fisher townwide garage sales will take place today and tomorrow.


The Loda American Legion will hold their monthly Fish and Chicken Fry tonight.


Rick and Friends will perform at the Melvin Community Hall on Saturday at 7 pm. A dinner featuring sloppy joes will be sold by the Melvin Women’s Club will start at 5:30 pm.


The Foosland Sportsman’s Club will hold their splatterobard shoot on Sunday,. Breakfast begins at 6 with the shoot starting at 8.


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