(Springfield-jm) --  Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs told attendees of a recent chamber of commerce event that the state needs a progressive income tax because it would allow for the taxation of retirement income above a certain level. Frerichs told a group of around 100 people at the Des Plaines Chamber of Commerce’s Mid-Year Economic Summit that passing the progressive tax ballot initiative would allow the state to tax the retirement income of wealthier Illinoisans without hitting middle-class seniors on fixed incomes, according to the Daily Herald. Illinois is one of a handful of states that does not tax retirement or pension income as taxable revenue.



(Springfield-jm) -- State Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike says not wearing a mask in public is like playing Russian Roulette. Wearing a facial covering around other people is one of the best things you can do to help prevent spread of the Coronavirus, but some still refuse says Dr Ezike…



Illinois Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike. Ezike says it’s everyone’s social responsibility to do the right thing and adds that scientists still don’t know the long term effects of COVID-19.



(Springfield-jm) -- As the state looks to borrow $300 million to pay out unemployment claims through the end of the month and up to $3.8 billion through September, it has paid out more than $7 billion in unemployment benefits, mostly from federal funds so far during the pandemic. About 1.4 million Illinoisans have applied for unemployment benefits since March. On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Labor reported 46,000 people in Illinois had filed for unemployment, that’s about 1,300 more than the week before.



(Springfield-jm) -- Students will return to the classroom in the fall in Illinois. The Governor’s office along with the Illinois State Board of Education unveiled guidelines this past week says 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City…



106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.



(Rural Paxton-jm) -- One person is dead following a single vehicle accident near Paxton Friday evening. Emergency crews were called to the accident on I-57 just south of the construction zone at the bridge around 6:30 pm. No word on if there were any injuries. The accident remains under investigation. 



(Rantoul-jm) -- A rally and march for black lives was held Sunday in Rantoul. Marchers walked from the police station to Wabash Park. Speakers from the community also addressed the crowd at the park.



(Rantoul-jm) -- The village of Rantoul has approved a pair of agreements with an engineering company for some projects. Village trustees approved an agreement with Hutchison Engineering for $29,000 for sidewalk design improvements along Maplewood Drive and $57,770 for roadway improvements along Congress and Sheldon.



(Paxton-cf)-- The streetscape Project in Paxton has been on hold since the start of the Pandemic. The planning was in the environmental stage of the project. Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold has the update on the latest on the streetscape project… 


Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold.


(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is announcing the expansion of newborn screenings. Starting today, IDPH says every baby born in Illinois will be tested for Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Spinal Muscular Atrophy affects 1 in 11,000 births and is a hereditary disease that progressively destroys motor neurons resulting in muscle weakness.


(Springfield-jm) -- Democrats run nine of the 10 states with the highest unemployment rates, The Wall Street Journal editorial board wrote. These states have implemented the most severe restrictions during their state’s emergency shutdown orders and are showing little-to-no signs of economic recovery. Compared to the national unemployment rate in May of 13 percent, Nevada’s, run by a Democratic governor, is nearly double at 25.3 percent. Also run by Democratic governors are Hawaii (22.6%), Michigan (21.2%), California and Rhode Island (16.3%), Delaware (15.8%), Illinois and New Jersey (15.2%), and Washington (15.1%).



(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois State Fire Marshal’s office is urging all health care providers to report any fireworks injuries this summer. It’s important to collect this data says Fire Marshal Spokesperson JC Fultz…



Illinois State Fire Marshal’s Office Spokesperson JC Fultz. Healthcare facilities reported 126 people with fireworks injuries around the 4th of July last year in Illinois and one death.



(Springfield-jm) -- As Illinois enters the next reopening phase with continued COVID-19 restrictions in public places, the state’s public health director said Illinoisans not wanting to wear a mask are risking the lives of everyone else. The governor called businesses not following his orders “scofflaws.” Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said Illinois should get “comfy” with COVID-restrictions. Illinois won’t enter Phase 5 with all restrictions lifted until there is a vaccine, widely available treatment or widespread immunity, according to Pritzker.



(Springfield-jm) -- The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is reopening on Wednesday. The museum will open it’s doors to visitors and feature a new exhibit about spies and terrorism in America. There will be new safety protocols in place says Spokesperson Chris Wills, and you will have to buy your tickets in advance…



Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum Spokesperson Chris Wills. The children’s play area will be closed and the number of theatre performances will be reduced to allow time for cleaning. The presidential library will be open by appointment only. Visit: president lincoln dot illinois dot gov for more information.


(Cissna Park-dg)-Eat, Drink, Shop Local. That’s been the theme around the area during the COVID-19 Pandemic. The Village of Cissna Park is pleased to announce through the $10,000 donation each from Frederick Community Bank and IGSE that if you buy a gift certificate from a participating business, there are funds to provide you with a matching gift certificate. Contact the Cissna Park Economic Development Board for more information.



(Iroquois County-jm) -- A Gilman man and an Onarga man have been arrested in separate incidents. 27 year old Ricardo Medina was arrested by Iroquois County Sheriff’s police on a Kankakee County warrant for driving while license suspended. 41 year old Brandon Bennett of Onarga was arrested by Iroquois County Sheriff’s police for DUI, driving while license revoked and possession of a controlled substance.


(Urbana-jm) -- A Rantoul man is expected to be arraigned in Champaign County court today on charges he sexually molested a girl back in 2016. 27 year old Ronald Dulske is charged with predatory criminal sexual assault of a child and aggravated criminal sexual abuse. Dulske was arrested Friday and bond was set at $250,000 and bonded out over the weekend. If convicted he faces up to 60 years in prison.



(Paxton-cf)-- Planting season this year has been a lot better for farmers across East Central Illinois with dryer conditions than what we had last planting season. It’s led to farmers getting almost all of their crops in, leaving a few replants with the rain showers that we had late May says Ford-Iroquois Farm Bureau Manager David Treece… 



Ford-Iroquois Farm Bureau Manager David Treece


(Gilman-jm) -- The City of Gilman will purchase a new surveillance camera system for the city’s brush site. The city is hoping that along with the purchase of a new gate will help control illegal dumping at the site.



(Champaign-cf)-- It’s a little too early to give price estimates on this year's corn and soybean crops in the area. But there is one thing farmers are watching over prices and its stands, Champaign County Farm Bureau Manager Brad Uken fills us in… 



 Champaign County Farm Bureau Manager Brad Uken



(Undated-jm) -- Nicor Gas has announced they are offering additional assistance to customers affected by COVID-19. The company says they will be offering one time grants of up to $300 toward past due balances for income eligible customers and residential customers can pay off past due balances with 24 monthly installments without a down payment. The move comes after the company announced in March they are offering flexible payment plans and bill payment assistance.


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