WPXN Blog

NORMAL, Ill. (AP) — Thousands of people attended an event to see prototypes of electric vehicles a central Illinois startup plans to create, an effort that already has the backing of officials through promised tax breaks and incentives. Rivian Automotive held a public event Sunday to show the community of Normal and elected officials three vehicles it plans to begin creating at the former Mitsubishi plant, which the startup bought in 2017 two years after it closed. The factory, which has already hired 200 employees, is expected to have more than 1,000 by the time the startup’s vehicles hit the market late next year. State and local officials are rallying behind the venture.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Agriculture is adding additional restrictions for dicamba use for the 2020 soybean growing season. The restrictions include not applying when over 85 degrees, not applying after June 20, 2020, the applicator must consult Fieldwatch Sensitive Crop Registry and comply with the associated record label requirements, maintain label specified downwind buffer on any downwind edge of any Illinois Nature Preserve Commission site.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- A former candidate for the Ford County Circuit Clerk's position has announced she will try again. Susie Shell has announced she will run for the position in the March 2020 primary election. Shell is the current chief deputy clerk for probation. The current circuit clerk is Kim Evans.

 

(Buckley-jm) -- The village of Buckley is looking at whether to upgrade to a sewer system. Mayor Sherry Stachura says they are in the beginning stages of talks…

 

Buckley Mayor Sherry Stachura.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Consolidating the two Champaign County jails could happen in the near future. During a facilities committee meeting last week, members determined nothing can be done financially with the downtown Urbana jail and maintaining that jail along with the satellite jail on the city’s east side is too costly. A firm presented a proposal to consolidate the two facilities, but that could cost the county $47 million. Discussions are expected to continue at future meetings.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Labor is urging farmers to make safety a top priority during the hectic harvest season. One of the top dangers is tractor rollovers, so equipment should have protective bars or a cage and farmers should always wear their safety belt. Department of Labor Spokesperson Mike Matulis says car-farm vehicle accidents are also a big problem, and farmers need to have the required lighting on their equipment…

 

 

Illinois Department of Labor Spokesperson Mike Matulis. Farmers are also urged to take care of themselves as they work long hours. That includes taking breaks, eating good meals and staying hydrated. 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- A Republican lawmaker has filed legislation to reinstate the death penalty in Illinois, calling it an “effective tool” to dissuade violent crime. Barrington Hills Rep. David McSweeney first announced his intention to introduce the bill in August, after mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, killed 31 people. The Capital Crimes Litigation Act of 2019, filed Thursday, would restore state death penalty law to what it was eight years ago, before former Gov. Pat Quinn signed a law eliminating the measure. Its purpose, according to the measure, is to “have the death penalty serve as a deterrent to violent crime with the specific goal of reducing mass shootings, serial killings, and gun violence.”

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois State Board of Education is scheduled to vote on its legislative agenda for the upcoming fall veto session and regular spring 2020 legislative session when it meets in East St. Louis this week. On the agenda for that regular meeting, are recommendations for a pair of trailer bills for the fall veto session and safeguards relating to educator misconduct to be discussed in spring session. One of the trailer bills would allow someone who holds a high school diploma to obtain an educator’s license with a paraprofessional endorsement if they pass a paraprofessional competency test. Another trailer bill would extend the time for individuals to file due process hearing requests for special education services that were delayed or denied in the 2016-2017 or 2017-2018 school year in certain districts. The recommendations for the spring legislative session include changes to licensure and educator misconduct policies and general cleanup of the school code.

 

 

(Sibley-jm) -- The site of the former gas station in Sibley could see new life. Village board members heard a proposal from a resident that wants to use the location as a base point for a food truck and catering business. The existing structure on the property would be torn down.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- The University of Illinois is investigating two more swastikas found on campus over the weekend. Police were called to Weston Hall Friday morning for a swastika in an elevator. A couple of hours later, an employee reported one on a study table in the ACES Library. Two other ones were found last week, one at Taft Hall, the other at the Foreign Languages Building.


 

(Buckley-jm) -- Halloween is just around the corner but one area school wants to get you in the Christmas holiday spirit. Christ Lutheran High School in Buckley will once again hold their annual Deck the Halls craft and vendor fair says Executive Director Sandy Spitz…

 

CLHS Executive Director Sandy Spitz.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- A decision on whether or not to allow the sale of recreational cannabis in Rantoul could come as early as November. Several residents have spoken out against the sale in the village. The nearby village of Fisher recently voted against the sale.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Fall colors are starting to show in Illinois. Peak fall colors haven’t hit yet, but the colder nights will help move things along says State Department of Natural Resources Spokesperson Rachel Torbert…

 

State Department of Natural Resources Spokesperson Rachel Torbert. 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Health officials across the country say they see no end in sight for the nation’s opioid epidemic. According to health officials, opioids have the power to change the brain's chemicals in as little as a week. They say once someone wants to get clean, the window to get them into recovery is very short before they change their mind.

 

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