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Health officials are worried the pandemic may have prevented people from getting flu shots

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois faces rough waters ahead with fiscal landmines Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza says are from the COVID-19 pandemic, and without tax dollars from the federal government, she warns of life-endangering shutdowns of the state’s social safety net. It’s unclear if there will be additional federal aid to states and cities. Congress could allow for already released and unused aid to cover lost revenue driven by government shutdowns of the economy, but no deal on another aid package has advanced.



(Springfield-jm) -- Health officials are worried the pandemic may have prevented people from getting flu shots setting up a “double whammy” during the influenza season. The website QuoteWizard ranked all 50 states based on child flu vaccination rates, and Illinois was found to have a 54.9 percent rate, ranking it the 18th lowest in the country. Nationwide, child flu vaccination rates have declined by an estimated 21.5% during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, over the past decade, influenza and pneumonia have been associated with an average of 35-hundred deaths a year in Illinois. During most flu seasons, which typically runs from October through May, between 10 and 20 percent of the population is infected with influenza viruses.



(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J.B. Pritzker said his administration is continuing to look for ways to enforce his executive orders as he tours COVID-19 hot spots in Illinois to encourage local officials to adopt their own ordinances. Pritzker said he tried to work with the Joint Commission on Administrative Rules on state penalties for businesses that don’t follow his orders. Pritzker repealed the rule he filed to level criminal penalties against businesses that didn't comply with his mandates just before JCAR met in late May. A separate rule he filed about workers’ compensation benefits for COVID-19 claims was challenged in the courts and was then repealed.


(Washington-jm) -- Coming soon we will get our first forecast for corn and soybeans and some other crops based on more than just acreage multiplied by average yields. Gary Crawford reports…




(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 1,471 new cases of Coronavirus Tuesday including 19 additional deaths. That brings the state’s total number of cases to 184,712 and total deaths to 7,545. Locally, McLean County reported 18 new cases bringing their total number to 570. Vermilion County reported 6 new cases bringing their total to 203. Livingston County reported 6 new cases bringing their total to 100. Ford County reported 1 new case bringing their total to 54. Kankakee County reported 8 new cases bringing their total to 1,769. Champaign County reported 11 new cases bringing their total to 1,523. Iroquois County reported 1 new case bringing their total to 261.



(Paxton-jm) -- While most events have been canceled because of the Coronavirus pandemic. The Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce is moving forward with their plans for the 2nd annual Wine and Chocolate Walk says Chamber President Alan Meyer…



Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce President Alan Meyer.



(Watseka-jm) -- Iroquois Memorial Hospital in Watseka has a new Chief Financial Officer. The hospital announced Richard Harning will take over the position. Harning has over 28 years experience in financial healthcare leadership.



(Paxton-jm) -- Paxton police have arrested two people on drug charges. Kenneth Armstrong of Wheaton, Illinois and Heather Scott of Sheldon were arrested following a traffic stop Monday afternoon for the driver having a suspended license and a warrant out of Vermilion County. Officers found 33 grams of meth, Alprazolam pills, 1/10 of a gram of heroin, numerous hypodermic needles, less than 10 grams of cannabis, scales and plastic baggies. Armstrong was charged with possession of methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver, possession of heroin, possession of a controlled substance, illegal possession of cannabis and possession of drug paraphernalia as well as the warrant and driving with a revoked license. Scott was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and obstruction of justice.



(Bloomington-jm) -- One area lawmaker is questioning Governor J-B Pritzker's approach to fighting the Coronavirus pandemic. 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman talks about the Governors fight against the virus…



53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington.


The American Red Cross will hold a blood drive at Gibson City Melvin Sibley High School today from noon to 4pm.


(Springfield-jm) -- Exelon's CEO cast fresh uncertainty on the profitability of its subsidiary's nuclear facilities in Illinois without intervention from lawmakers despite the eroded trust after a patronage and lobbying scandal. The company says they need state lawmakers to create a separate wholesale energy market that would allow its six nuclear plants to sell subsidized energy. Federal regulators objected to the nuclear plants selling discounted power on the PJM Interconnection market because it put other energy providers at a disadvantage. Exelon operates six nuclear power facilities in Illinois. The company said last October that the Byron, Braidwood, Clinton, LaSalle and Dresden plants were in danger of being shuttered.



(Springfield-jm) -- The truncated COVID-19 session the Illinois legislature organized in late May in Springfield had an additional $143,000 taxpayer cost so the House could legislate while remaining socially distant. With a May 31 deadline to pass a state budget with simple majorities, leaders planned to return for three days, May 20-23. While some legislators did not attend because they either tested positive for COVID-19 or had other health concerns, the Illinois Senate held its session in the Senate chambers for the upper chamber's 59 members. The Illinois House opted for an offsite location at the Bank of Springfield convention center for its 117 members.



(Springfield-jm) -- The safety of school reopening plans is now up to a medical review panel. The Illinois Education Association and the Illinois Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics made the announcement Tuesday. More than a dozen doctors will review district reopening plans that teachers are concerned about. If a district’s plan is deemed unsafe by the panel of medical experts, the district will be informed of the changes that need to be made to ensure all are safe and the environment is healthy.



(Springfield-jm) -- This is National Minority Donor Awareness Month and Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White is shining a spotlight on the need. When it comes to those who need an organ and those who pledge to donate, there’s a significant disparity among minorities says Secretary White…


Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White. Additionally, Secretary White says people of color are disproportionately affected by illnesses like hypertension and diabetes, which can lead to the need for a kidney transplant.



(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 1,471 new cases of Coronavirus Tuesday including 19 additional deaths. That brings the state’s total number of cases to 184,712 and total deaths to 7,545. As for local active and recovered cases...McLean County reported 451 have recovered, 102 are in isolation and 2 hospitalized. In Vermilion County 171 have recovered, 29 are in isolation and 1 hospitalized. In Livingston County, 81 have recovered and 17 cases are active. In Ford County, 48 have been released, 3 are in isolation and 2 are hospitalized. In Kankakee County 1,234 have recovered, 470 cases are active and 7 are hospitalized. In Champaign County, 1,287 have recovered, 217 cases are active and 14 are hospitalized. In Iroquois County, 196 have been released, 52 are in isolation and 3 are hospitalized.



(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Transportation announced their six year road construction plans. WPXN’s Jason Madden has the details on projects beyond 2021…



(Vermilion County-jm) -- Many people who were tested for COVID-19 at one of the seven mobile testing clinics in Vermilion County have still not received their results after two weeks. The Vermilion County Health Department said a commercial lab in Pekin got overwhelmed and did not properly test  all 118of the samples collected at the clinic. The health department said many of the samples received at the Pekin lab between July 12 and July 24 were not processed within the necessary window. It is recommended that those who were tested between these dates and have not received their results should be tested again.



(Washington-jm) -- Corn and soybean condition numbers remain steady. Stephanie Ho reports…




(Champaign-jm) -- 52nd District State Senator Scott Bennett of Champaign is encouraging small business owners to apply for PPP loans before the new deadline. The Small Business Administration extended the deadline to August 8th.


The Illinois Department of Agriculture will host a free agrichemical recycling at Nutrien Ag Solutions in Onarga this afternoon from 1-3 pm.


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