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State officials say Illinois is heading in the wrong  direction when it comes to the Coronavirus

(Springfield-jm) -- The Office of the Architect of the Capitol Board voted Wednesday to move forward with plans to rearrange several large statues with connections to slavery on the Illinois State Capitol grounds, despite not knowing how much the proposals will cost. Statues of Steven Douglas and Pierre Menard will be removed and put in storage. The board also approved moving the Martin Luther King Jr statue from across the street to the capitol grounds.



(Springfield-jm) -- State officials say Illinois is heading in the wrong  direction when it comes to the Coronavirus. Illinois is close to hitting 212 thousand positive cases, and more than 78 hundred patients have died says State Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike…



Illinois Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike. Ezike says several regions of the state are seeing increases in positivity and hospital admission rates. The Governor says if numbers continue to rise, more areas will be subject to tighter restrictions.



(Undated-jm) -- Locally, Livingston County reported 3 new cases Wednesday bringing their total number of cases to 157. McLean County reported 51 new cases bringing their total number to 830. Ford County reported 2 new cases bringing their total number to 83. Kankakee County reported 15 new cases bringing their total number to 2,016. Champaign County reported 16 new cases bringing their total number to 1,788. Iroquois and Vermilion Counties both reported no new cases Wednesday.



(Springfield-jm) -- Officials say FDA approval of the University of Illinois’ COVID-19 saliva test is a game changer. It’s called the “Shield” Program and the U of I has already tested more than 50 thousand students and college staff. President Tim Killeen says this is groundbreaking…



University of Illinois President Tim Killeen. Killeen says the test is especially useful in identifying carriers who show no symptoms and are unknowingly spreading COVID. The state and U of I are working to offer the saliva test at other colleges and the goal is to make it available at K through 12 schools, long term care facilities and more.



(Rantoul-jm) -- A Rantoul man has been arrested on sexual assault charges for allegedly sexually assaulting a developmentally delayed teen. Demetrius Wade was charged with a single count of criminal sexual assault. Police say Wade allegedly had sex with the teen in December. Bond was set at $100,000. He’s due back in court September 8th.



(Fisher-jm) -- 2 properties in the village of Fisher have been deemed unsafe. The homes are in the Shepherd Mobile Home Estates. The designation requires the owners of the properties to remove or demolish them within 90 days. If they don’t the issue could end up in court.



(Gibson City-jm) -- Students returning to classes this fall will have to wear face masks. To help out, the Illinois State Board of Education and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency are teaming up to provide masks to districts says 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City…



106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.



(Urbana-jm) -- Urbana is following Champaign’s steps in issuing executive orders for U of I bars and restaurants ahead of students returning to campus. Urbana’s city order requires people to be seated at bars and restaurants and requires people to wear masks out in public. Champaign’s order, issued Tuesday, also shuts down indoor dining at campustown restaurants. Both orders are in effect through the Labor Day Holiday.


(Springfield-jm) -- A new study on the country’s early education systems gave Illinois high marks. The personal finance website WalletHub looked at 12 key metrics to come up with the rankings, including the share of school districts that offer preschool programs and the total spending per child enrolled in preschool. Illinois ranked 12th best in the country. The state scored well in the share of school districts that offer a preschool program and enrollment numbers. Illinois also fared well in the total state Head Start spending per child enrolled in preschool.



(McLean County-jm) -- A new wind farm could be coming to McLean County. Apex Clean Energy is looking to build a wind farm on 30,000 acres between Heyworth and LeRoy. The company has six other wind farms in the area. 


(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 2,295 new cases and 25 additional deaths Wednesday. As for active and recovered cases locally, Livingston County reported 131 have been removed from isolation with 23 active cases and 1 hospitalized. McLean County reported 655 have recovered, 155 are in isolation with 4 hospitalized including one in the ICU, Vermilion County reported 232 have been removed from isolation, 30 remain in isolation. Iroquois County reported 241 have been released, 39 are in isolation and 6 hospitalized. Ford County reported 65 have been released from isolation with 16 in isolation. Kankakee County reported 1,362 have recovered, 587 cases are active with 8 hospitalized. Champaign County reported 1,657 have recovered, 112 cases are active and 9 are hospitalized.



(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker is launching a virtual guestbook to honor former Governor Jim Thompson. The guestbook is online and will be shared with Thompson’s family says Governor Pritzker…



Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Pritzker calls the longest serving Governor in Illinois history a titan of state government who brought all political stripes together.


(Thomasboro-jm) -- The new Dollar General in Thomasboro is expected to open in September. Construction began in July on the building east of Route 45 at Flatville Road.



(Champaign-jm) -- A Champaign man has been sentenced to 30 months probation for aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a child. Bradley McDermott received the sentence in Champaign County court. In exchange for his plea, a charge of criminal sexual assault was dropped.


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