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Striking Teachers in Chicago want more support staff

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Demands by striking Chicago teachers for more nurses, librarians and social workers are highlighting concerns that resonate in high-poverty school districts elsewhere around the country where shortages of support staff leave educators feeling stretched. Teachers unions argue not having enough support staff needs hinders students' learning. Closer to home, teachers in the Blue Ridge School District will vote on a new 3 year deal on Sunday. A tentative agreement between teachers and the school district was reached this week.


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) _ First Busey Corp. on Tuesday reported third-quarter net income of $24.8 million. The bank, based in Champaign, said it had earnings of 45 cents per share. Earnings, adjusted for one-time gains and costs, were 55 cents per share. The results beat Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of five analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 52 cents per share. The bank holding company posted revenue of $122.6 million in the period. Its revenue net of interest expense was $104.4 million, also topping Street forecasts. Four analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $103.2 million. First Busey shares have climbed roughly 4% since the beginning of the year.


(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker is announcing more than 10 million dollars in park and recreation grants. The money is part of the park and recreational facility construction program, helping communities construct and renovate buildings or purchase land for recreational activities. Illinois Department of Natural Resources Spokesperson Rachel Torbert says a number of projects around the state are receiving the grants... 



Illinois Department of Natural Resources Spokesperson Rachel Torbert. Other projects getting money include an expansion of the Forum Fitness Center in Rantoul and construction of a new community center in Villa Grove. 



(Fisher-jm) -- The village of Fisher will spend an additional $5,000 on tree removal and trimming. The village previously approved spending $13,000 for the work. The additional money will allow the cutting down of 20 more ash trees. The work is part of a 10 year removal plan.



(Paxton-jm) -- The City of Paxton will hold a public hearing on the first phase of the city’s streetscape project in November. The hearing will take place November 12th at 6:30 pm. PRIDE in Paxton Director and local business owner Terri Hancock talks about how the streetscape project will help the city…


PRIDE in Paxton Director and local business owner Terri Hancock.



(Champaign-jm) -- A Rantoul man has been arrested following a shooting in Champaign over the weekend. Jabari Morris was arrested for allegedly shooting a man in the leg twice following an argument. Champaign Police continue to investigate the shooting.



(Ford County-jm) -- Ford County landowners are being reminded the second installment of property taxes are due October 28th. Payments can be dropped off at the courthouse, the dropbox in front of the courthouse, at any Ford County bank or by mail as long as it is postmarked by October 28th. After that date late fees will be applied and payments can only be made by mail or at the courthouse.


(Springfield-jm) -- One area state legislator is questioning whether or not the state government should get involved in setting age limits on certain products or issues. 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman says it can cause confusion and even has an economic impact…



53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman.



(Springfield--jc)  -- While Gov. J.B. Pritzker's recently released five-year economic plan for the state focuses on retaining young people, new poll numbers suggest it’s the state’s finances that has people looking to leave.AARP released new poll data through the Center for Illinois Politics. The poll taken at the end of the Rauner administration of 1,200 voters 25 years old and older asked a variety of different questions, many focused on the state’s fiscal issues and how to solve them.Center for Illinois Politics Editor Kerry Kasper said most voters would typically use the phrase “extremely angry” about state government; 85 percent said lawmakers should address the state’s backlogged bills and pension debt.The poll also found 57 percent think Illinois needs both budget cuts and tax increases while 26 percent say cut services only. Fourteen percent said there only needs to be more revenue.While 59 percent support a progressive income tax, 59 percent oppose increasing income taxes above 4.95 percent, the current flat level. Kasper said 71 percent oppose a retirement tax.



(Rantoul--jc)  -- The number of sponsors continues to grow for the Punkin Chunkin Competition, coming to the village of Rantoul in early November. Flooring Surfaces of Champaign is a sponsor of the two day event on November 2nd and 3rd. WPXN will be broadcasting live on Saturday November 2nd.


BRIDGEPORT, Calif. (AP) — Military officials say a Marine was killed in a vehicle accident at a Northern California training facility. The Marine Corps says 21-year-old Pfc. Christian Bautista was serving as a turret gunner on an armored Humvee when the accident occurred Sunday at the Mountain Warfare Training Center in Bridgeport. Officials didn’t immediately provide details about the accident. The San Diego Union-Tribune reports Tuesday that Bautista was from Cook County, Illinois, and based at Camp Pendleton in Southern California. He enlisted in the Marines in Sept. 2018. His awards include the National Defense Service Medal and the Global War on Terror Service Medal.



(Springfield-jm) -- State public health officials say progress is being made in the fight against opioid abuse. Public Health’s Jenny Epstein oversees the Illinois Opioid Action Plan and says opioid related deaths dropped from about 22 hundred in 2017 to two thousand 167 in 2018. That’s the first decrease in five years, but Epstein says there is still more work to be done... 



Illinois Public Health’s Jenny Epstein. Epstein says the state needs to continue to focus on overdose prevention and providing more access to addiction treatment. 



(Buckley-jm) -- The village of Buckley is looking for a caretaker for the Buckley Lake building. The caretaker would be responsible for booking rentals and cleaning the building. Those interested can reach out to Village President Sheree Stachura.


(Paxton--jm)  -- The Paxton Buckley Loda F-F-A is continuing to collect bottle caps and plastic lids. P-B-L F-F-A Member Autumn Bruens says the goal is to trade the plastic in for a bench.


PBL FFA Member Autumn Bruens



(Gibson City-jm) -- Gibson City leaders are moving forward with a water tower project. City council members approved the purchase of six tenths of an acre of land from Alliance Grain company for $12,500. The city is applying for a $3 million loan from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency for the construction of the 500,000 tower.



(Rantoul-jm) -- Another property on the former Chanute Air Force Base could be sold. A possible out of state bidder is looking to purchase and transform the former base hospital into a marketable property. The property was put up for auction after the previous owner failed to fulfil their tax obligations. That’s not the only property interest on the former base. There is also interest from developers and companies to purchase 3 of the 4 hangers.


(Buckley-jm) -- Those wanting an authentic German meal can come out to the Buckley American Legion on Sunday October 27th for Christ Lutheran High School’s Oktoberfest. Director Sandy Spitz has the menu for this year’s event…



CLHS Executive Director Sandy Spitz. The meal runs from 4 to 6:30 pm.

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois courts system is receiving a $100,000 grant to expand access to the judicial process in Illinois. The Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts announced a grant from the National Center for State Courts. The group will use the funds to support strategic action planning efforts to expand access to justice in the state.

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