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More than 130 books once owned by a renowned Abraham Lincoln biographer have been donated to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A treasure trove of more than 130 books once owned by a renowned Abraham Lincoln biographer has been donated to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield. Benjamin Thomas' books could be a gold mine for Lincoln scholars as many of them contain his handwritten comments, observances and notations. The books were donated by the Lincoln Land Community College Library. The State Journal-Register reports that the museum accepted the collection this week.



AZTEC, N.M. (AP) — A northwestern New Mexico school district near the Navajo Nation is looking to contract teachers from the Philippines amid a teacher shortage. School districts in  5 states, including some in Illinois, have opted to hiring Filipino teachers to send to rural schools hurt by a lack of teachers.



(Buckley-jm) -- One area high school is continuing on with an unusual approach to teaching. Christ Lutheran High School continues to operate on a 4 day school week schedule says Executive Director Sandy Spitz…



Christ Lutheran High School Executive Director Sandy Spitz.



(Undated-jm) -- The cause of death for two people who were found dead in a wrecked car near Paxton last weekend remains undetermined. Autopsies performed byDr. Shiping Bao on Taylor Johnson and Reynaldo Hogue listed no preliminary opinion. Ford County Coroner Rick Flessner says toxicology results are pending in the next couple of weeks. 


(Rantoul-jm) -- The site of a Rantoul motel could be redeveloped. A developer has expressed interest in the Knights Inn hotel property at the intersection of U-S 136 and Murray Road on the villages west side. Village officials say the hotel would be torn down although they haven’t said what the developer would use the land for. Currently there is a court order to force the facility to close due to several violations.



(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois unemployment rate hit a historic low last month. The jobless rate for September dropped to three point nine percent, a new record for the state. Illinois Department of Employment Security Spokesperson Sam Salutstro says job growth continues…


Illinois Department of Employment Security Spokesperson Sam Salustro. The national unemployment rate for September is three point five percent. 



(SPringfield--jc)  --Gun owners from around the state plan to remind Illinois lawmakers about their opposition to a measure that would require those seeking a Firearm Owners Identification card to submit fingerprints on the first day of the fall legislative session. Lawmakers return to Springfield on Oct. 28 for the first three days of the veto session. State Rifle Association Executive Director Richard Pearson said he expects it to be a busy session with a lot of different issues coming up. The association will focus on Senate Bill 1966, a measure that would increase fees for Firearm Owner Identification cards.


(Gilman--jc)--  Iroquois West School leaders will hear about a proposed alternative learning day when they meet tonight in Gilman. The board will look at the issue and the public is invited to bring questions and concerns to the meeting. The meeting begins at 6-45 tonight in Gilman in the high school board room.


(Springfield--jc)  --The recent slew of tax and fee increases for infrastructure programs likely won't be the last Illinois taxpayers see.This summer, drivers started paying higher state gas taxes. Smokers paid higher cigarette taxes. Lawmakers also raised vehicle registration fees and other approved fees. Those measures, along with expanded gambling and sports wagering legislation that hasn't been fully implemented yet, are meant to pay for a $45 billion five-year infrastructure plan.Illinois Chamber of Commerce CEO Todd Maisch said state funding is there for five years under the Rebuild Illinois plan. However, he said the federal government, which sends tax dollars to Illinois for infrastructure, wants to see a ten-year infrastructure plan



(Urbana--jc)  -- The University of Illinois College of Agricultural Consumer and Environmental Sciences is looking for Illinois farmers to report planting and harvesting statistics.The voluntary survey can be done online or one can be sent in. Data will be compiled to learn about how growing was affected by delayed planting because of wetter than normal Spring weather.



(Buckley-jm) -- Those wanting to paint and have fun with friends can do so in the village of Buckley. Mayor Sherry Stachura says they hold monthly painting parties…



Buckley Mayor Sherry Stachura.


(Sibley-jm) -- Sibley village leaders continue to discuss work on a water main project. The village was recently granted a time extension for the project and the loan. Construction must begin in June or July of 2020.


CHICAGO (AP) — More than 300,000 students in Chicago are getting another day off as contract talks continue between the teachers' union and the nation's third-largest school district. Chicago Public Schools announced Sunday night that classes and after school activities were  canceled for today. Closer to home, another meeting in the Blue Ridge School district, based in Farmer City, is set for today. Negotiations also continue for teachers and school district in the St Joe Ogden School District.



(Thomasboro-jm) -- The village of Thomasboro has a new public works superintendent. Chad Polsky was hired for the position. He comes with 29 years of experience from the village of Rantoul. He will be paid $45,000 starting out with an additional $5,000 after completing the certification requirements. He must also establish residency in the village within a year.



(Springfield-jm) -- Comptroller Susana Mendoza says human service providers are still recovering from the state’s more than two year budget impasse. Some providers that offer services like rape counseling and homeless prevention had to close during the stalemate, unable to keep operating with no state funding. Illinois Collaboration on Youth C-E-O Andrea Durbin says even with some funding restored, they face other problems…



Illinois Collaboration on Youth C-E-O Andrea Durbin. Comptroller Mendoza says that although there is more human service money in the state budget now and expected new sources of revenue, there’s still an over six billion dollar backlog of past due bills to be paid.

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