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Kids Zone to be at National Punkin Chunkin event in Rantou

EUREKA, Ill. (AP) — A 9-year-old central Illinois boy believed to have set a fire that led to the deaths of five family members has been arraigned on first-degree murder charges. The Journal Star in Peoria reports Woodford County Circuit Court Judge Charles Feeney on Monday read a juvenile petition citing the murder charges, along with arson counts. Feeney explained the juvenile counts and legal processes to the boy, who at times indicated he did not understand.



(Springfield--jc)  -- A new Illinois law that requires residents to upgrade smoke detectors will go into effect in 2023.Margaret Vaughn, government affairs director with Illinois Fire Safety Alliance, said all dwellings in Illinois have been required to have smoke detectors since 1988, but residents are now being told to use detectors that come with built-in batteries that last up to 10 years. Vaughn said death is preventable in case of fire. Many fire deaths in recent years were the result of smoke detectors batteries being removed or not working.



(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker is announcing a multi-year 23 point five billion dollar transportation improvement plan for Illinois. The plan aims to maintain, preserve and expand more than 42 hundred miles of roadway and over nine million square feet of bridge deck over the next six years says Governor Pritzker... 



Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Pritzker says the state is shifting the way it approaches transportation needs, focusing on the long term instead of waiting to rebuild until roads and bridges have nearly deteriorated. 



(Gibson City--jc)  -- Donations for a local police project in Gibson City have been totaled from last Friday nights Gibson City Melvin Sibley football game. The Falcons Red Army helped raise 500 dollars for the Gibson City Police Department “Shop with a Cop” event. Gibson City Police would like to thank all those who donated and helped with the project.



(Rantoul--jc)  -- Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce officials along with Rantoul City Schools are set to bring a Kids Zone to the initial Punkin Chunkin Competition on November 2nd and 3rd at the local airport. The Kids Zone will be open from 9am to 7pm on Saturday and 9am to 4-30pm on Sunday. Among the attractions to the kids zone will be a 1 thousand pound pumpkin, carnival games and Joyful Bubbles. More entertainment at the kids zone will be provided by the Rantoul Public Library.



(Undated--jc)  -- It may come for a few years, but a new Area Code is set for those now in the 217 area code. The reason for the new area code is numbers in the current 217 are running low. The number assignments could start in Spring of 20-21. There are 36 counties in Illinois in Illinois under the 217 area code that runs from Danville to Rantoul, Champaign Urbana to the western part of Illinois.



(Paxton--jc)  -- A Coffee connection is set for mid November in the city of Paxton. The Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce event takes place on Wednesday November 13th at Accolade Healthcare in Paxton. The coffee connection runs from 8 til 9 that morning.

(Springfield-jm) -- Soybean harvesting made some nice progress this past week as we hear in the weekly crop report. 93 percent of soybean acres are dropping leaves says Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener…



State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 88 percent of corn is mature and 36 percent has been harvested. The condition of the corn crop improved slightly to 46 percent in good to excellent condition. 63 percent of winter wheat has been plated and 30 percent emerged. Average statewide topsoil moisture stands at six percent very short, 16 percent short, 72 percent adequate and six percent surplus. 



(Rantoul-jm) -- The teen accused of shooting another teen in Rantoul last week will be tried as an adult. During an arraignment hearing Friday, Champaign County prosecutors announced they will charge the 16 year old suspect with one count of aggravated battery with a firearm. Bond was set at $500,000. He is due back in court November 5th. If convicted he faces 6 to 30 years in prison.



(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois State Board of Education will release the 2019 Illinois Report Card this week. The report cards look at districts fiscal and academic data. New this year, the report will display spending at the school level.


(Springfield-jm) -- It’s National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week and the Illinois Department of Public Health has some tips to help keep your family safe. Illinois has one of the highest rates of childhood lead poisoning in the country. Public Health Director Doctor Ngozi Ezike says the biggest risk comes from lead based paint…



Illinois Public Health Director Doctor Ngozi Ezike. Ezike advises cleaning up old paint chips and peeling paint, having your water tested for lead and making sure kids and pregnant women stay away from areas where renovations are underway. 



(Rantoul--jc)  The Community Service Center, based in Rantoul, wil be the site for a senior safety awareness fair on Thursday. The event takes place from 9am to 1pm. Hosting the event are local state representative Mike Marron and Champaign County Sheriff Dustin Heuerman.A lunch will be served, a safety presentation, bingo and information on Medicare Open enrollment  also hilite the event.


(Rantoul--jc)  -- Area children are invited to Rantoul Township High School from 5-30 until 7pm today to participate in the annual Halloween Extravaganza. Trick or treating, arts and crafts, a costume contest and prizes are part of today’s event in the Rantoul Township High School cafetorium. Several high school civic groups and teachers are helping at the extravaganza



(Watseka--jc) Iroquois County authorities are reporting another phone scam targeting Seniors. Joel Cluver has the details…




(Springfield-jm) -- Soybean harvesting made some nice progress this past week as we hear in the weekly crop report. 52 percent of soybean acres have now been harvested, up from just 27 percent last week but still behind the five year average of 68 percent. 44 percent of soybeans are rated in good to excellent condition. Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says 88 percent of corn is mature…



State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 63 percent of winter wheat has been planted and average statewide topsoil moisture is rated as six percent very short, 16 percent short, 72 percent adequate and six percent surplus.



(Undated-jm) -- Johnson and Johnson Corporation is announcing a voluntary recall of a certain lot of baby powder. The move comes after a test revealed sub-trace levels of asbestos in a bottle bought from an online retailer. The company can’t confirm if cross contamination caused a false positive or if the sample had been prepared in a controlled environment. 


October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and one local bank is donating to the cause. The Buckley St. Bank will donate $5 to breast cancer awareness for each person wearing pink that comes into the bank on Friday October 25. The Bank is located on Route 45 in Buckley.



(Champaign-jm) -- The Housing Authority of Champaign County is receiving a grant they hope will increase income and reduce the need for public assistance. The group is receiving a $72,000 grant to go towards the Family Self Sufficiency Program. Those in the program sign a contract that after 5 years they won’t need certain types of public assistance, after signing the contract they will have an escrow account set up for them. If they complete the terms of the contract, they will get the money in the account.



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