(Springfield-jm) -- A Republican state lawmaker said Wednesday she plans to introduce legislation to establish a State Ethics Task Force to tighten ethics rules within Illinois government. Tony McCombie — who is chair of the House Republican Organization, the political arm of the caucus which works and raises money to elect House Republicans — said several events in the past year “raise concerns” that the state’s ethics rules are not strict enough. She indicated that she hopes to have the legislation considered in the upcoming veto session, which begins October  28th.



(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Natural Resources reminds you can claim a deer if you end up hitting one on the roadway. Deer-vehicle accidents happen more frequently this time of year says Department of Natural Resources Spokesperson Rachel Torbert. But if that happens, you could end up with a meal…


Department of Natural Resources Spokesperson Rachel Torbert. If you don’t want the deer, a passerby may claim it instead unless they are behind on child support. The claim form is available online at: dnr dot illinois dot gov. 



(Ludlow-jm) -- Ludlow has a new village clerk. Dawn Good was selected to replace Sandy Langley who stepped down after serving since 1999. Village trustees will vote in November whether or not to approve Good to serve as village treasurer as well.


(Watseka-jm) -- A traveling tribute to those who died on September 11 2001 will be in Iroquois County starting today. The Tunnel to Towers exhibit will be in the Watseka First Trust parking lot starting today and running through Sunday.



 (Buckley-jm) -- Buckley is looking into creating a sewer system in the village. The village has held several town halls on the issue and Mayor Sherry Stachura says those town halls will continue…



Buckley Mayor Sherry Stachura.



(Gifford-jm) -- Gifford residents may soon be able to pay their water bills using credit/debit cards. Water and Sewer Superintendent Jess Childress told the village board at their October meeting that several residents have expressed interest in paying that way. Childress said he will look into the fees associated with payments by credit/debit cards and report back to the board.



(Springfield-jm) -- As the state legislature gets ready to reconvene for the fall veto session one area lawmaker talks about what can be expected this upcoming session. State Senator Jason Barickman…



Local State Senator Jason Barickman.



(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois’ revised school funding formula is helping achieve greater equity among school districts, according to a new evaluation of the state’s education system. However, the report by Advance Illinois determined more work needs to be done in early childhood education, improving achievement for black and low-income students and boosting enrollment in Illinois colleges.  Advance Illinois President Robin Steans said Illinois recently ranked 45th in the country for the amount of money the state spent per pupil on K-12 education. Despite progress on the funding front, the report underscored areas where education in Illinois is lagging. The state has a significant teacher shortage and said the state ranks 45th in support for higher education when it ranked 19th just a decade ago. 


(Springfield-jm) -- Aunt Martha’s Health & Wellness, the only Illinois organization currently participating in the federal family planning program, was awarded more than double its initial grant after several providers across the country declined their funding in response to a Trump administration rule change. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services oversees the Title X program. It announced on Sept. 30 the allocation of an additional $33.6 million to 50 grantees in several states to buttress their family planning services. Aunt Martha’s will use the money to expand services — including wellness exams, testing for sexually transmitted diseases and birth control.



(Springfield-jm) -- Many scams aim to play on your emotions. A family life educator at the University of Illinois Extension has some advice on how to avoid getting ripped off. Always check to see if a call or email is legit, especially if it elicits an emotional reactions says the Extension’s Cheri Burcham. For example, con artists may pose as the police and say your child or grandchild is in jail…



University of Illinois Extension Family Life Educator Cheri Burcham. Scammers may also say you’ve won a vacation and they need your personal information or offer free medical equipment or genetic testing. Burcham says you should never pay for a promised prize up front and that most offers that sound too good to be true usually are. 



(Champaign County-jm) -- The Champaign County Coroner's office has a new employee and she comes with four legs. Harlow is county coroner Duane Northrup’s family dog. He trained Harlow to be a comfort dog. Northrup is in the process of training another dog that he hopes can serve as a comfort dog in the Mahomet-Seymour school district.



The Iroquois County Public Health Department will hold a flu clinic today from 2 to 3:30 at Creekside Terrace in Cissna Park.



(Buckley-jm) -- Christ Lutheran High School in Buckley will be holding their annual Oktoberfest dinner. Director Sandy Spitz has the details for this year’s event…


Christ Lutheran High School Executive Director Sandy Spitz. Menu items include, German Sausage Soup, German Meatballs, Schweinbraten, Bratwurst, Hot Dogs, Red Cabbage, Sauerkraut, German Potato Salad, Breads, Desserts and Beverages.



(Thomasboro-jm) -- Thomasboro’s police chief is announcing new procedures for how the Champaign County Sheriff’s office responds to calls in the village when a village officer is not on duty. The move comes after several residents complained about inadequate responses. The sheriff’s office will respond to emergency calls, crimes in progress and property crimes involving injuries or where there is the potential for injuries. Deputies will also respond to non-emergency calls if requested by the caller. If the caller chooses, they can wait for the next officer on duty and be transferred to the villages police department to leave a message.


(Springfield-jm) -- One state representative is calling for the head of the state’s transportation committee to step down after the FBI raided his Springfield office and Chicago area home. In a speech to reporters, Representative Allen Skillicorn had this message to Senator Martin Sandoval…



State Representative Allen Skillicorn. In addition, Skillicorn is calling on the General Assembly to repeal the state’s capital bill, which Senator Sandoval helped create and pass.



(Springfield-jm) -- The U.S. Small Business Administration is announcing Illinois has been awarded $700,000 in competitive federal funding to promote U.S. export growth through the state's Illinois State Trade and Export Promotion program.  The Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity Office of Trade and Investment will invest the federal award in the state's ISTEP program which provides financial assistance to Illinois small businesses entering or expanding to new international markets. Qualified Illinois businesses can use funding from the ISTEP program for state organized group trade missions, individual foreign market sales missions, product compliance, website localization, and export training.


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