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The Itasca, Illinois-based National Safety Council is predicting that COVID-19 likely will be the third leading cause of death in 2020

(Springfield-jm) -- The Itasca, Illinois-based National Safety Council is predicting that COVID-19 likely will be the third leading cause of death in 2020, with the majority of those deaths occurring in long-term care facilities. The death toll nationwide from the pandemic exceeds 170,000, eclipsing the total number of preventable accidental deaths in 2018, the most recent year of final data. Only heart disease and cancer account for more deaths. It would mark the first time since 2016 that preventable deaths – which include drug overdoses, motor vehicle crashes, and falls – would not be the third leading cause of death in the country. According to a Franklin Templeton-Gallup research project, 92 percent of COVID-19 deaths nationwide are people who hare 55 or older. Illinois has seen 7,833 deaths related to COVID-19, with over 6,700 involving people aged 60 or older.  Fifty-five percent of the deaths statewide have occurred in long-term care facilities.



(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois’ final step out of Governor J.B. Pritzker’s multi-phased shutdown of Illinois’ economy to stave off the spread of COVID-19 is a widely distributed vaccine. New polling shows a broad swath of the population would refuse to take it. A new Marist poll shows 35 percent of adults across the nation would not get a COVID-19 vaccination. That number increases to nearly 45 percent if the respondents are either Republican, white women without a college education, members of Generation X, or they live in a small city or rural area.  The widespread scepticism could threaten Illinois’ plan to fully return to life as it was before COVID-19, since Pritzker’s Phase 5 requires that “Either a vaccine is developed to prevent additional spread of COVID-19, a treatment option is readily available that ensures health care capacity is no longer a concern, or there are no new cases over a sustained period.”



(Springfield-jm) -- The state unemployment rate dropped to 11 point three percent last month. The Illinois jobless rate is down from 14 point five percent in June says Illinois Department of Employment Security Spokesperson Sam Salustro…



Illinois Department of Employment Security Spokesperson Sam Salustro. Salustro says the biggest job gains were seen in the leisure and hospitality sector as more restaurant and bar employees get back to work. Growth was also seen in educational and health services and professional and business services.



(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 1,832 new cases of Coronavirus Thursday and 27 additional deaths. The state also reported testing over 51,000 specimens in 24 hours. Locally, McLean County reported 42 new cases bringing their total number to 872. Livingston County reported 4 new cases bringing their total to 161. Vermilion County reported 4 new cases bringing their total to 268. Iroquois County reported 2 new cases bringing their total to 303. Ford County is reporting 6 new cases bringing their total to 89. All 6 new cases are part of an outbreak at a long term care facility in Paxton. Kankakee County reported 30 new cases bringing their total to 2,046. Champaign County reported 36 new cases and an additional death bringing their total number of cases to 1,824 and total deaths to 20.



(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker says a graduated income tax is needed as Illinois continues to fight the Coronavirus pandemic. Illinois voters will be asked to approve a new tax structure when they cast a ballot in November. Governor Pritzker says taxing based on how much you earn instead of the current flat tax is fairer, and will generate more money for the state…



Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Governor Pritzker says 97 percent of Illinoisans would pay the same or less in income taxes under his plan. Opponents say the change opens the door to future tax increases and hurts small businesses.



(Rantoul-jm) -- Rantoul police are looking for the individuals who beat an elderly man in the village. Police say two young men approached the 60 year old man in the 700 block of North Maplewood, across from Eastlawn Elementary school, and asked for money. The man said no and that’s when the two attacked him. The man was taken to the hospital for his injuries. The suspects are described as black males between the ages of 16 and 25. One was wearing a white t-shirt and blue jeans, and the other was wearing a blue shirt. Anyone with information is asked to call Rantoul police.



(Washington-jm) -- There could be a new competitor in the market for corn trade. USDA’s Outlook Board Chairman Mark Jekanowski talks about Ukraine's growing influence in world corn markets…



USDA Outlook Board Chairman Mark Jekanowski.



(Rantoul-jm) -- Rantoul’s newest addition to the fire department has arrived. The village purchased a $1.3 million dollar ladder truck earlier this year. The truck gives the department 25 additional feet of reach compared to their old ladder truck and also pumps and holds more water. The ladder truck joins a new half a million dollar rescue pumper and tanker/tender truck that were both purchased in 2015.

(Gibson City-cf)-- The Gibson City Melvin Sibley School District has developed an app GCMS#5 that will monitor students' symptoms, and that can do the symptoms  checks at home, as well as at school.The app can be downloaded on iOS and Android devices. GCMS Superintendent Jeremey Darnell has the details… 



GCMS Superintendent Jeremey Darnell.


The Sheldon Fun Days Committee will hold a day-long event on Saturday, August 22nd at Sheldon Park starting with an antique tractor show from 9-5, Community Picnic at noon and mobile escape room from 12:30-6:30.



(Springfield-jm) -- In an effort to help lower unemployment, the Illinois Manufacturers' Association has launched the "Makers Hiring" campaign, which matches job seekers with open positions in the manufacturing sector. Almost 50 companies have already signed up to participate in the campaign, looking to fill more than 950 jobs. Those interested in a job can visit the states jobs website: illinois dot gov slash get hired.



(Undated-jm) -- Peaches sold at Aldi stores across the country including Illinois are being recalled over potential salmonella concerns. The peaches are a Wawona brand. The CDC reports 68 cases across the country with 16 hospitalized. Experts say you should throw them out if you have any.



(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker continues to remind the public about the use of masks. The Governor says masks work in helping to slow the spread of the coronavirus…



Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Yesterday, Illinois reported 1,832 new cases of the Coronavirus.



(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Conservation Foundation is launching a new app. The Outdoor Illinois app is free and provides information on hunting, fishing, boating and camping in Illinois. You can also renew your hunting and fishing licenses as well as register your new boat and renew your boat registration. The app is available on Iphones and Androids.



(Undated-jm) -- As for local active and recovered cases, McLean County reported 664 have recovered, 188 are in isolation and 4 hospitalized. Livingston County 139 have been removed from isolation, 19 cases are active and 1 hospitalized. Vermilion County 248 removed, 18 in isolation. Iroquois County 243 released, 39 in isolation and 6 hospitalized. Ford County, 65 released, 22 in isolation. Kankakee County 1,420 recovered, 559 active 8 hospitalized. Champaign County 1,673 recovered, 131 active 4 hospitalized.



(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Labor reminds that teens under 16 need a work permit before starting a job. 14 and 15 year olds wanting to work should get a letter from their prospective employer, stating the type of work and anticipated hours. That needs to be submitted to the child’s school, which will decide if the work permit is approved says Department of Labor Assistant Director Jason Keller…



Illinois Department of Labor Assistant Director Jason Keller. Keller says students can go through the application process remotely if the school building is closed due to COVID-19. Teens don’t need a permit for jobs like delivering newspapers, mowing or babysitting.



(Urbana-jm) -- A Bement man who stole thousands of dollars worth of equipment and money from his Thomasboro employer has been sentenced to 30 months probation. Joey Marshall pleaded guilty in Champaign County court to theft with a prior theft conviction. Marshall stole over $10,000 worth of equipment and cash from Concrete Inc in Thomasboro. As part of his plea deal, a more serious felony charge was dropped. He was also ordered to pay over $16,000 to the company.



(Paxton-cf)-- A few students and parents have chosen to attend school solely online this upcoming school year in the Paxton-Buckley-Loda school district. PBL  Superintendent Cliff McClure says about 12% of the district chose to go online…. 



Paxton-Buckley-Loda Superintendent Cliff McClure.



(Ford County-cf)-- The Ford County Board has approved a purchase of an O-W-L or OWL. It is a package for web conferencing that comes with a better webcam and microphone. County Board Chairman Robert Lindgren has the details on the purchase… 



Ford County Board Chairman Robert Lingdren.


Paxton IGA will be hosting a cookout benefiting Gold Star Mission on Saturday, August 22nd from 10-2.



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