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Talks on another round of Coronavirus relief continues in Washington

(Springfield-jm) -- Half of Illinois high school students reported using an electronic tobacco product last year, a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey found, “erasing gains” made by health advocates in recent years to curb tobacco use.  The federal agency also found roughly one in five Illinois high school students used electronic tobacco products at least one day during the 30-day period before responding to its survey. Nationwide, that number was approximately one third of high school students. 



(Springfield-jm) -- The state’s transportation director said gas tax revenues are down from estimates and that will push some projects from the multi-year construction plan back a year. Motor fuel tax revenues are down $82 million from this time last year, despite a doubling of the state’s gas tax. 



(Springfield-jm) -- Illinoisans have already requested more than one million mail in ballots. Avoiding the polls and mailing in the November ballot is proving to be a popular option, with one point one million requested so far says State Board of Elections Spokesperson Matt Dietrich…



State Board of Elections Spokesperson Matt Dietrich. Under a new state law, applications for mail in ballots were sent to all recent voters. You can also request a ballot at elections dot il dot gov. They will be mailed out in late September.


(Undated-jm) -- Illinois now has more than 233,000 COVID-19 cases and 8,019 COVID deaths, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. Cases at universities around the state continue to rise. Illinois State University has 933 positive cases and the University of Illinois is reporting almost 800.



(Washington-jm) -- Talks on another round of Coronavirus relief continues in Washington. One part being negotiated is another round of stimulus checks says 16th Congressional District Congressman Adam Kinzinger of Illinois…



16th Congressional District Congressman Adam Kinzinger of Illinois.



(Rantoul-jm) -- A Rantoul Township High School student and two Rantoul City Schools students have tested positive for the Coronavirus. The schools made the announcement to parents and staff Friday. The Rantoul students are the latest in the area after 2 PBL students and 2 students in the Mahomet Seymour school district have also tested positive so far this school year.


(Gibson City-jm) -- Illinois seniors will have some reprieve when it comes to renewing their driver's license. Secretary of State Jesse White announced last week those 75 and older have a year extension to renew their license says 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City…



106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.



(Paxton-jm) -- The parking lot and tennis courts at the Paxton Park District will be resealed. The park district approved spending $12,000 to reseal the parking lot at the swimming pool and just over $78 hundred to reseal the tennis court.



(Washington-jm) -- After a decline in the global economy this year, one analyst says there is likely going to be a rebound in 2021 that will help boost U.S. agricultural product exports. Gary Crawford reports…




(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois homeowners, and those who pay through rent, paid a higher tax rate than all but one other state in America.  At 2.05 percent of the average market value of their home, Illinois owners shelled out a higher portion of their home’s value in property taxes than any other state in 2018 with the exception of New Jersey. That’s according to an annual report from the nonprofit Tax Foundation. 



(Springfield-jm) -- 30 Illinois counties are now at a warning level for COVID-19. The warning is triggered when certain metrics are hit, such as a high hospitalization or test positivity rate says State Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike…



State Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike. New counties added to the warning list include Cook, Sangamon, Effingham, Jo Davies and Pike. You can view COVID numbers for your county on the Illinois Department of Public Health’s website.


(Undated-jm) -- Illinois is reporting 8,019 COVID deaths and 233,355 confirmed COVID cases. Over the weekend, University of Illinois students, faculty and building service workers protested the campus’ handling of the pandemic. The group’s protest started on the Quad and went to the President’s house where they said they didn’t feel safe being on campus during the pandemic.



(Paxton-cf)-- The Paxton-Buckley Loda Hall of Fame class has been announced. Robert Frump, who graduated from Paxton High School in 1965 and is a Pulitzer Prize Winner, and Harold Kenny graduated from Loda High School in 1922 and went to the University of Illinois and graduated from Vanderbilt University. Kenny Coached wrestling at Illinois and won 5 Big Ten Titles. PBL Superintendent Cliff McClure has the details… 



Paxton-Buckley-Loda Superintendent Cliff McClure.



(Watseka-jm) -- Iroquois County Treasurer Kurt Albers is reminding residents the deadline to pay their second installment of real estate taxes without penalty is coming soon. The deadline to pay is tomorrow. After that day a late penalty will be assessed. You can pay your real estate taxes at the Treasurer’s office between 8:30 and 4:30 Monday through Friday, by mail, or at any Iroquois County bank.



(Undated-jm) -- Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker is touting the success of the state’s contact tracing efforts in the fight against Coronavirus. The state provided grants to health departments to higher contact tracers says the Governor…



Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker.



(Champaign-jm) -- The Community Foundation of East Central Illinois is reminding area non profits the deadline to apply for Community Commitment Grants is today. The grants are funded by endowments from donors. Eligible non profits can apply for up to $7,500. For more information call the Community Foundation of East Central Illinois at 217-359-0125.



(Undated-jm) -- There's encouraging news about Illinois' potential for wind energy development in a new analysis. Mary Scheurmann reports…



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