SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Democratic state Senate President John Cullerton has announced he’s stepping down from the Illinois Legislature. Cullerton says Thursday night in a statement that his retirement will be effective sometime in January and that he is fulfilling a promise to his wife, Pam. Cullerton was elected state senate president in 2009 and has been in the Illinois Senate since 1991. His 6th district covers Chicago’s North and Northwest sides.
(Springfield-jm) -- A spokesman for the family of Rod Blagojevich said support continues to grow for the commutation of the former Illinois governor’s 14-year prison sentence. Blagojevich family spokesman Mark Vargas said that most recently former National Rifle Association President David Keene sent a letter to President Donald Trump asking for the commutation of Blagojevich’s prison sentence.
(Springfield-jm) -- A propane shortage is prompting a regional emergency declaration that covers seven states, including Illinois. State Department of Agriculture Director John Sullivan says the shortage is more of a delivery problem, so this declaration eases trucking regulations…
State Department of Agriculture Director John Sullivan. Supplies are running low here in part due to early cold temperatures and farmers needing more propane to dry wet grain.
(Gifford-jm) -- The northeastern Champaign County village of Gifford is the latest community to ban recreational cannabis sales. The village board voted 6-0 to ban the sale at this months meeting. Village trustees could vote in January whether or not to establish a 3 percent sales tax on cannabis sales if the village does approve it.
(Rantoul-jm) -- The Champaign County Regional Planning Commission’s Low Income Energy Assistance Program will be in Rantoul this month. The group will hold an energy assistance day on Saturday, November 16th from 9-1 at the Community Service Center. LIHEAP helps low income residents with their gas and electric bills.
(Paxton-jm) -- A long standing Paxton tradition will continue this November as the city will hold their annual Christmas parade on Saturday, November 30th at 1:30 pm. PRIDE in Paxton Director Terri Hancock talks about the history of the parade…
PRIDE in Paxton Director Terri Hancock. The theme for this year’s parade is Chocolate, Gum Drops and Golden Tickets: Imagine the Possibilities.
(Undated-jm) -- New research in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows underage use of e-cigarettes show no sign of slowing down. 28 percent of high school students and 11 percent of middle school students admitted to using e-cigarettes. That amounts to 5.3 million youth, up from 3.6 million last year. Mint is the most favored after flavored products were banned.
Washington-jm) -- China has lifted a four-year ban on our nation's poultry entering into that market. Rod Bain reports…
CHICAGO (AP) — The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services banned the use of shackles and handcuffs on youths in its custody after two teenage boys were restrained while they transferred from one Chicago-area shelter to another. The 15-year-old and 17-year-old boys were handcuffed and shackled at their ankles on Oct. 1 while being transferred separately from a Chicago shelter to another in Palatine.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois lawmakers approved requiring more public disclosure about lobbyists Thursday in response to a federal bribery charge against a since-disgraced representative but pushed heavy ethics-reform lifting off to a newly created commission that will report recommendations next spring. Overwhelming votes in both the House and the Senate on the year’s last scheduled day of work in Springfield belied the dissatisfaction House Republicans had with what one lawmaker called a “milquetoast” measure and criticism over the makeup of the commission they fear will be stacked with Democrats.
(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting a fourth death from vaping related lung injury. 179 people so far have suffered lung injuries after vaping, with four now dead and another 41 possible cases under investigation. Public Health Director Doctor Ngozi Ezike says 80 percent of patients report vaping T-H-C…
Public Health Director Ngozi Ezike. Researchers have also found that Vitamin E acetate may be linked. Those affected in Illinois range in age from 13 to 75 years old but the average age is 22.
(Paxton-jm) -- The Paxton Service Club is accepting donations for their Christmas Envelope Project. The project assists needy families in the Paxton-Buckley-Loda School District. Those interested in donating can mail their donations to the Paxton Service Club Goodfellow Project P.O. Box 224, Paxton, Illinois 60957. Applications for those who may need assistance can be filled out at any local food pantry or at Hudson’s and must be submitted by December 8th. Last year the service club handed out 72 envelopes.
(Ashkum-jm) -- District 21 Illinois State Police troopers have announced several upcoming special patrols in Ford, Iroquois and Kankakee Counties. Troopers will be conducting Occupant Restraint Enforcement Patrols on November 19th and November 25th. Troopers will be conducting Special Traffic Enforcement Patrols on November 16th, 17th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 27th, 30th and December 1st. Those patrols will focus on the fatal four: DUI, seatbelts, speeding and distracted driving.
(Undated-jm) -- The Ford-Iroquois 4-H Foundation will hold their annual auction this weekend. Spokesperson Nita Dubble has the details…
Ford-Iroquois 4-H Foundation Spokesperson Nita Dubble. Some of the items on the auction include tickets to Illinois Men’s Basketball and Chicago Cubs baseball to a grill and foursome at a local country club.
(Undated-jm) -- Millennials are in bad shape, and their poor physical and mental health carries serious adverse economic consequences, according to a new report. More millennials or those born between 1981 and 1996 suffer from conditions including hypertension, high cholesterol, depression and hyperactivity at a higher rate than Gen-Xers did at the same point in their lives, Moody's Analytics found in a report drawing on data from Blue Cross Blue Shield. As a result, the economic research firm estimates that, by 2027, health costs for young adults could run as much as 33% higher than they were for Gen-Xers at the same age.
(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker is applauding passage of pension consolidation legislation. Combining the 640 downstate and suburban fire and police pension funds into two large systems will reap big rewards and alleviate a big burden says Governor Pritzker…
Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. It’s estimated that by consolidating the pension systems, investment returns will increase by 800 million to two point five billion dollars over the next five years.