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The Illinois Department of Employment Security is extending the state's unemployment benefits

(Springfield-jm) -- Nearly 25,000 Illinois workers filed for unemployment benefits last week. While that’s around 8,500 fewer than the week before, it’s still more than 1.4 million Illinoisans who have filed for unemployment benefits since the beginning of March. Across the country, unemployment filings are also down with 1.2 million filing initial claims just last week alone. 



(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Employment Security is extending the state's unemployment benefits. Typically unemployed residents seeking benefits are allowed to get unemployment benefits for up to 26 weeks. That was extended to an additional 13 weeks. Now, residents will get an additional seven weeks, for a total of 20 weeks of extended benefits.



(Undated-jm) -- June brought renewed housing demand as Illinois reopened, however, low housing inventory is still an issue. WPXN’s Jason Madden reports…




(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 1,953 new cases of COVID-19 and 21 additional deaths Thursday. Locally, McLean County reported 15 new cases bringing their total to 598. Champaign County reported 16 new cases bringing their total to 1,574. Ford County reported 2 new cases bringing their total to 64. Ford County also reported their 2nd COVID death. Livingston County reported 4 new cases bringing their total to 105. Kankakee County reported 13 new cases bringing their total to 1,796. Vermilion County reported 4 new cases bringing their total to 216. Iroquois County reported 6 new cases bringing their total to 272.



(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is tracking outbreaks at Long Term Care Facilities across the state. Locally, 13 cases have been tied to facilities in Ford County, 115 in Iroquois County, 362 in Kankakee County, 65 in McLean County and 46 in Champaign County. 



(Bloomington-jm) -- Could taxes be going up in Illinois? Voters will be asked to approve a constitutional amendment changing the state’s tax structure in November. 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington says a tax increase is not the answer but addressing the way the state spends money is…



53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington.



(Ludlow-jm) -- The village of Ludlow is looking to address speeding in the village. Several residents came forward at their recent meeting to address their concerns saying it's a safety issue.



(Gibson City-jm) -- Gibson City Police are releasing their recent activity report. On July 29th, Kendall McElhaney of Gibson City was arrested on an in state warrant. On July 31st,  On August 2nd, Daniel Walker was arrested on an in state warrant.



(Washington-jm) -- USDA has just added some new crop insurance payment flexibilities to an already long list of moves to help producers during stressful times. Gary Crawford reports…



The Paxton IGA will be hosting a cook out benefiting Boy Scout Troop 32 on Saturday from 10 to 2.


The Rankin Fire Department is hosting their annual pork chop dinner on Saturday from 4-7 pm. Cost is $8 for adults, children are $4. Carry outs are available.


(Undated-jm) -- As Illinois struggled with state-mandated lockdowns amid the COVID-19 crisis, Illinois Policy Institute analysis reveals the state’s economy shrank by an estimated $86 billion from April through June, or $940 million per day. These figures come from national data released July 30, estimating the U.S. gross domestic product suffered its largest quarterly decline on record. Just ahead of federal jobs data for July expected today, the Bureau of Economic Analysis found national GDP shrank at an annualized rate of 32.9% in the second quarter of this year, compared to just 5% during the first quarter of 2020. Institute experts believe these reports should influence the debate surrounding another federal stimulus bill, and the primary goal of public policy decisions should be to prevent mass business failure and bolster a strong economic recovery. U.S. Department of Labor data show 24,712 Illinoisans filed for unemployment in the week ending Aug. 1, bringing total new jobless claims to 1.55 million since COVID-19 started impacting Illinois’ economy.



(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul is joining 19 other attorneys general in calling on social media giant Facebook to take steps to prevent the spread of hate and disinformation. The attorneys general wants Facebook to aggressively enforce its policies against hate speech and organized hate organizations, expand policies limiting inflammatory advertisements that vilify minority groups, offer assistance to victims and harassment and strengthen filtering, reporting and blocking tools among other things.



(Gibson City-jm) -- One area state representative is urging people to not plant seeds that could be from China. Several states are reporting people receiving unsolicited seeds. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City says there are some things you need to do if you receive some…



106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.



(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 1,953 new cases of COVID-19 and 21 additional deaths Thursday. As for active and recovered cases, 483 have been released in McLean County with 99 in isolation and 1 hospitalized. In Champaign County, 1,371 have recovered, 184 cases are active and 12 are hospitalized. In Ford County, 48 have been released from isolation, 12 remain in isolation and 2 hospitalized. In Livingston County, 84 have been removed from isolation and 19 cases are active. In Kankakee County, 1,237 have recovered, 496 cases remain active and 7 are hospitalized. In Vermilion County, 182 have been released from isolation, 29 remain in isolation with 3 hospitalized. In Iroquois County, 198 have been released from isolation, 57 remain in isolation with 9 hospitalized.



(Undated-jm) -- The Department of Public Health along with area health departments are releasing numbers in area communities. So far, 257 have been in Rantoul, 86 in Mahomet, 60 in Gilman, 56 in Clifton, 31 in Watseka, 30 in Fisher, 27 in St. Joseph, 25 in Chebanse, 21 in Hoopeston, 20 in Paxton, 19 in Onarga, 14 in Ashkum, 12 in Gibson City, 9 in Crescent City, 8 in Danforth, 7 each in Foosland and Bellflower, 6 each in Saybrook, Milford, Ludlow and Thomasboro, 5 in Dewey, 3 in Gifford and 1 each in Penfield and Ogden.



(Rantoul-cf)-- There will be a second referendum on the ballot in the upcoming November election in the Village of Rantoul. The ballot will have the approval of the new districts in Rantoul, which will result in 1 trustee from each district with 4 year term limits, staggered every two years says Rantoul Village Administrator Scott Eisenhower… 



 Rantoul Village Administrator Scott Eisenhower.



(Champaign County-jm) -- Champaign County Sheriff Dustin Heurmann is warning residents about several vehicle thefts. The sheriff says they have seen an increase in thefts, mainly being committed by juveniles. And most have a common theme, the vehicles were left unlocked and the keys left inside. Sheriff Heurmann reminds residents to lock their vehicles, do not leave keys inside and do not leave anything valuable in your vehicle. If your vehicle does get stolen, you should report it to police and also your insurance company.



(Champaign-jm) -- As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread, scientists and health care providers are seeking ways to keep the coronavirus from infecting tissues once they’re exposed. A new study suggests luring the virus with a decoy – an engineered, free-floating receptor protein – that binds the virus and blocks infection. Erik Procko, a Biochemistry professor at the University of Illinois, led the study published in the journal of science. Further work is required to determine whether the decoy receptors could be an effective treatment of or preventive agent against COVID-19.



(Washington-jm) -- More producers have filled their Census of Agriculture surveys online over the last three Census years, and that has to do with making the surveys more user friendly via technology. Rod Bain reports…





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