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A new report says even though revenue from the state's gas tax is up, the amount people are buying is down

(Springfield-jm) -- Gov. J.B. Pritzker and his wife, M.K. Pritzker, reported more than $6 million in gross income last year, about $5.5 million of which was federally taxable, according to a nine-page summary of 2018 state and federal tax returns released by his campaign Tuesday. The governor’s campaign did not, however, release any tax return documentation regarding trust funds which benefit the Pritzkers. Gross income listed on the forms is about $6.2 million. A sum of $1.8 million is subtracted from state taxable income on the forms. That makes the 4.95 percent state tax rate applicable to about $4.3 million of their income, according to the documents. That means the Pritzkers paid $215,885 in state income tax on their personal income not including trusts, the documents show.  Also according to the email, the Pritzkers paid a 33.99 percent federal tax rate in 2018. That amounts to just over $2 million in federal taxes. 



(Undated-jm) -- A new survey shows the majority of Illinois voters support mental health background checks on all firearm purchases. The survey conducted by the University of Illinois Springfield, 9 in 10 people support mental health background checks. The survey also found a large portion of those surveyed supported the ban on assault weapons and high capacity ammunition sales in the state. 


(Springfield-jm) -- Farmers anxiously wait for crops to mature as we hear in the weekly crop report. 73 percent of corn is mature and just 23 percent has been harvested so far. That compares to about 59 percent normally. Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says 44 percent of corn is rated in good to excellent condition. Looking at soybeans…



State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 43 percent of the soybean crop is rated in good to excellent condition, unchanged from last week. The third cutting of alfalfa is nearly complete and average statewide topsoil moisture stands at four percent very short, 13 percent short, 69 percent adequate and 14 percent surplus. 



(Rantoul-jm) -- Taco Bell could be making a return to the village of Rantoul. The restaurant closed several months ago, but the owner wants to rebuild the restaurant at the former J and D auto sales lot on the other side of McDonalds. The site still needs to be rezoned from residential to commercial before construction can begin, potentially as early as next year. The owner opted to close the store and rebuild instead of remodeling the old location. 



(Paxton-jm) -- PRIDE in Paxton is preparing for the Christmas holiday season. One of the ways they are gearing up is with a raffle says PRIDE in Paxton Director Teri Hancock…



PRIDE in Paxton Director Teri Hancock.


(Undated-jm) -- At least 6 vaping related illness cases are in four central Illinois counties. The counties include Champaign, Vermilion, Sangamon and Macoupin Counties. The state public health office says between 1 and 3 cases have been reported in Vermilion, Sangamon and Macoupin counties and between 3 and 6 cases in Champaign County. So far there have been 128 confirmed cases in Illinois with 38 more being investigated. At least 26 deaths in the U-S have been confirmed through vaping.



The PBL FFA is continuing to collect bottle caps and plastic lids. PBL FFA Member Christina White talks about where you can drop off your bottle caps.



PBL FFA Member Christina White.



(Springfield-jm) -- A new report says even though revenue from the state’s gas tax is up, the amount people are buying is down. According to the Illinois Department of Revenue, the state brought in $99.8 million in revenue from the tax. However, drivers bought 19.4 million gallons less than in 2018. The gas tax is part of Governor J-B Pritzker's Rebuild Illinois program to fix roads and bridges in the state. Its estimated the state could bring in almost $600 million in fiscal year 2020.



A Youth Fall Fest is being held at the Paxton Church of Christ, 400 W. Ottawa Road, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. today. There will be a wiener roast, a pumpkin craft and games, as well as a Bible lesson. Elementary children and junior high school youth are invited to participate.


(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois made substantial progress in securing its election systems since Russian government officials hacked into its voter registration database in 2016, but more needs to be done to protect those systems heading into the 2020 elections. Earlier this year, the House Intelligence Committee reported Illinois was one of 21 states whose election systems were targeted by Russian government hackers in 2016. In the Prairie State, the hackers were able to penetrate the entire statewide voter registration database and, by the end of 2018, had accessed as many as 200,000 voter registration records, according to the report. An intelligence community assessment concluded that the hacks were part of a broader Russian campaign to influence the elections to the detriment of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, former secretary of state, and that they were prepared to launch a social media campaign to undermine Americans’ faith in the election if Clinton had won.



(Springfield-jm) -- It’s time to get your annual flu shot and the Illinois Department of Public Health is dispelling a few myths about the vaccine. Some people think the vaccine will give you the flu, but Public Health Director Doctor Ngozi Ezike says the shot contains inactive strains of the virus…



Illinois Public Health Director Doctor Ngozi Ezike. If you do get sick soon after receiving the vaccine, you likely had already been exposed to the virus. Another myth is that you don’t need the shot, since you rarely get sick. Ezike says in that case, consider getting the vaccine to protect those around you, especially the very young and old who could suffer deadly complications from the flu. 



(Undated-jm) -- At least 21 people in 13 states have become sick with Salmonella from pet turtles, resulting in 7 people being hospitalized. The CDC recommends these safety tips: wash your hands, play safely, clean habitats toys and supplies outside the house, pick the right pet for your family and pet stores should educate customers and employees. Symptoms of salmonella include diarrhea, stomach cramps and fever 12 to 72 hours after exposure.



(Springfield-jm) -- Farmers anxiously wait for crops to mature as we hear in the weekly crop report. 73 percent of corn is now mature, that compares to 98 percent normally says Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener…



State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 80 percent of soybeans are dropping leaves and just 27 percent of the crop has been harvested. 43 percent of soybeans are rated in good to excellent condition. Average statewide topsoil moisture is rated at four percent very short, 13 percent short, 69 percent adequate and 14 percent surplus. 



(Springfield-jm) -- Several area residents will take part in the final Land of Lincoln Honor Flight for 2019 later this month. 94 veterans from across the state will head to the nation’s capital on October 29th including veterans from Crescent City, Gibson City, Gifford, Champaign, Urbana, Dwight, Farmer City and St. Joseph. The veterans will visit the World War 2, Korean War and Vietnam War memorials as well as Arlington National Cemetery among other locations on the trip.



(Undated-jm) -- A bill signed into law earlier this year bans smoking in vehicles with kids present. Local state senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington questions whether the law will have the desired impact…



State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington



(Paxton-jm) -- Paxton police have released their recent activity report. On October 14th, Hannah Steiner of Paxton was arrested on an outstanding warrant. On October 12th, Dwayne Asago Adjei of Ft Wayne Indiana was arrested for no valid driver’s license and ticketed for speeding following a traffic stop at Railroad and Center. On October 8th, the report of a theft of several bikes was taken in the 200 block of N. Market St. Anyone with information is asked to call Ford County Crimestoppers at 217-784-4173.



(Champaign-jm) -- Some farmers in Champaign County have begun harvesting their crops. Farm Bureau Assistant Manager Bailey Conrady talks about some of the early yield numbers for corn and soybeans…


Champaign County Farm Bureau Assistant Manager Bailey Conrady. 



(Undated-jm) -- When it comes to outward migration, several Illinois cities top the list in the Midwest. Of the top 20 Midwest cities of outward migration, 9 of them are in Illinois. Danville came in at number one followed by Decatur and Rockford. Peoria came in at number 6, Kankakee 8, Chicago area 10, Carbondale 12 and Bloomington 13.




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