(Springfield-jm) -- Supporters of changing the state’s flat income tax are using a fake Twitter account posing as an opponent to promote the progressive tax. The Vote Yes For Fairness group which is heavily funded by Governor J.B. Pritzker shared a screenshot on Facebook Oct. 9 of a tweet from Liz Uihlein critical of the amendment. Uihlein’s publicist said it was a fake account. Pritzker gave Vote Yes for Fairness $56.5 million so far this year.



(Springfield-jm) -- The backlogs for Firearm Owner Identification Cards are getting longer, up to an average of 116 days, and even longer for concealed carry cards. As the backlogs increase, lawsuits against the state are also stacking up. Illinois State Police say the average time for FOID card processing is 116.35 days. FOID cards are supposed to be processed within 30 days. For Concealed Carry Licenses with fingerprints to go with the applications, ISP said the average time is 129.9 days. Without fingerprints with the application, it’s 154.19 days. The state is facing 12 active lawsuits over the delays, the Illinois State Rifle Association said.



(Springfield-jm) -- The state has now collected more than one million dollars in taxes from the sale of recreational marijuana in Illinois. That total is for the first eight months of this year, with a chunk of the money going to local governments says Illinois Department of Revenue Spokesperson Sam Salustro…



Illinois Department of Revenue Spokesperson Sam Salustro. The tax money will also be used for things like substance abuse and mental health treatment and to invest in communities hit hard by the war on drugs.



(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 2,851 new Coronavirus cases Tuesday and 39 additional deaths bringing the state’s total number of cases to 324,743 and deaths to 9,026. Since Monday was a holiday, health departments were closed, so locally since Friday, McLean County reported 194 new cases and 4 additional deaths bringing their total number of cases to 3,700 and deaths to 30. Champaign County reported 144 new cases bringing their total to 5,331. Ford County reported 38 new cases bringing their total to 219. Vermilion County reported 79 new cases bringing their total to 1,112. Livingston County reported 21 new cases bringing their total to 507. Kankakee County reported 54 new cases bringing their total to 3,015. Iroquois County reported 28 new cases bringing their total to 463.



(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health along with area health departments are reporting case numbers in area communities. 337 cases have been in Rantoul, 195 in Mahomet, 105 in St. Joseph, 86 in Gilman, 67 in Clifton,  65 each in Hoopeston and Watseka, 59 in Paxton, 51 in Fairbury, 49 in Chebanse, 41 in Fisher, 39 in Piper City, 33 in Onarga, 29 in Gibson City, 26 in Forrest, 25 in Potomac, 22 in Cissna Park, 21 in Milford, 18 each in Thomasboro and Ashkum, 17 in Rossville, 16 in Danforth, 14 in Gifford, 12 in Rankin, 11 each in Saybrook and Crescent City, 10 in Cabery, 9 each in Bellflower, Wellington, Foosland and Donovan, 8 each in Buckley and Martinton, 7 each in Loda, Roberts, Chatsworth and Beaverville, 6 each in Ludlow, Sheldon, Kempton and Cullom, 5 in Dewey, 4 each in Colfax and Arrowsmith and 2 in Penfield.



(Springfield-jm) -- The dry weather gave farmers plenty of time in the fields as we hear in the weekly crop report. Just about a whole week was suitable for fieldwork, with most areas seeing very little rain. Crop Statistician Steve Parn says 95 percent of corn is mature…



Crop Statistician Steve Parn. 56 percent of soybeans have been harvested, ahead of the 50 percent five year average. 46 percent of winter wheat has been planted and 15 percent emerged. Average statewide topsoil moisture dropped to nine percent very short, 36 percent short, 54 percent adequate and one percent surplus.



(Champaign-jm) -- The pandemic has brought more attention to the need of broadband internet, so the Champaign County farm bureau are holding a survey to help. They’re trying to locate which areas in the county need the most assistance, and the bureau says so far they’ve seen higher numbers outside the Champaign Urbana area. The survey will help figure out the next steps for improving service.



(Urbana-jm) -- The University of Illinois Senate is considering a revised schedule to limit the amount of opportunity students have to travel. The idea is to lower their risk of COVID-19 exposure, but some students doubt it’ll make any difference. If the revised schedule goes into effect, students will get three non-consecutive days off: Wednesday, February 17, 2021; Wednesday, March 24, 2021; and Tuesday, April 13, 2021. It will also push back the start of the spring semester by a week, from January 19 to January 15, to give students time to test and quarantine or isolate. The issue will be taken up on Monday.



(Paxton-jm) -- This week’s Scott’s Tips for Success has to do with winterizing your yard. Paxton Hardware and Rental’s Scott Allen has these tips…



Scott Allen with Paxton Hardware and Rental. You can hear more tips for winterizing your yard Saturday morning with Scott’s Tips for Success at 7:30.


(Paxton-jm) -- The Paxton Buckley Loda School Board meets tonight where they will consider approving their FY 20 audit and discuss their tax levy. The PBL School Board meeting gets underway at 6.



(Springfield-jm) -- The Coronavirus pandemic has changed multiple aspects of our lives, from working remotely, to having to wear facial coverings and social distance all the way down to how our children learn. 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington says schools have done a great job adapting…



53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington.


(Paxton-jm) -- The City of Paxton is reminding residents that pets must be registered with the city yearly. The cost to register your pet is $3. To register your pet, call city hall at 379-4022.

(Springfield-jm) -- The Coalition to Protect Our Telehealth is asking the Illinois General Assembly to make Governor J.B. Pritzker’s executive order that allows a patient to confer with their doctor via video chat a state law. They want the laws to bar insurance providers and others from classifying a telehealth visit differently than an in-person visit or requiring a different set of practitioners rather than the patient’s current doctor. In a July report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, researchers found nearly half of Illinois residents who required care in April used telehealth services.



(Springfield-jm) -- The Pritzker administration Tuesday announced an additional $1 million in spending for census-related media outreach in communities of color across the state. The Illinois Department of Human Services will continue to promote participation in the 2020 Census following a federal court’s ruling extending the deadline to October 31, 2020. Illinois is one of the few states in the country that allocated funding for census outreach efforts in its 2021 fiscal year budget. 



(Springfield-jm) -- Nearly 660 thousand people in Illinois have already voted in the November election. About 176 thousand of the ballots cast so far are from those taking advantage of early voting, but the rest are coming from mail-in ballots. State Board of Elections Spokesperson Matt Dietrich says they are strongly urging voters to return their mail in ballot right away to ensure they are included in election night totals and to catch any errors…



State Board of Elections Spokesperson Matt Dietrich. Dietrich says numbers should increase next week as more early voting locations come online in Cook County and the City of Chicago.



(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 2,851 new Coronavirus cases Tuesday and 39 additional deaths bringing the state’s total number of cases to 324,743 and deaths to 9,026. As for local active and recovered cases, McLean County reported 3,364 have recovered, 298 are in isolation and 8 are hospitalized. Champaign County reported 4,998 have recovered, 306 are in isolation and 4 are hospitalized. Ford County reported 154 have been removed from isolation, 55 are in isolation with 4 hospitalized. Vermilion County did not report how many have recovered but did report 224 cases are active with 10 hospitalized. Livingston County reported 461 have been removed from isolation, 37 cases are active with 2 hospitalized. Kankakee County reported 2,579 have recovered, 362 cases are active with 17 hospitalized. Iroquois County reported 397 have been released from isolation, 44 remain in isolation with 3 hospitalized.



(Ford County-jm) -- The Ford County Public Health Department reported 26 of the counties new 38 new Coronavirus cases were linked to a long term care facility in the county. The outbreak is at Piper City Rehab and Living Center. That is the latest facility to have an outbreak in Ford County. Earlier in the pandemic, 41 cases and 3 deaths were reported at the Accolade on Pells facility in Paxton. 4 cases were also reported earlier on at the Gibson Annex. As for surrounding counties either currently experiencing outbreaks or had outbreaks, Country Health and Rehab in Gifford had 9 cases and the Villas of Hollybrook in Rantoul had 5. 73 other cases were reported between 7 facilities in the Champaign-Urbana area. 78 cases and 14 deaths were reported at Gilman Health Care Center while 51 cases and 4 deaths were reported at Ascension Presence Merkle Knipprath in Clifton and 3 cases were reported at Prairieview Lutheran Home in Danforth.



(Springfield-jm) --   The dry weather gave farmers plenty of time in the fields as we hear in the weekly crop report. Temperatures this past week were more than five degrees above normal, with very little rain to speak of in Illinois. Crop Statistician Steve Parn says 95 percent of soybeans are now dropping leaves…



Crop Statistician Steve Parn. 45 percent of corn has been harvested, behind the five year average of 53 percent but well ahead of last year’s progress. 46 percent of winter wheat has been planted and average statewide topsoil moisture declined to  nine percent very short, 36 percent short, 54 percent adequate and one percent surplus.


(Urbana-jm) -- A Rantoul man was arrested after U of I police say he was found asleep inside an office of a campus building. Police say 21 year old Chase Henson was found asleep inside an office that was not his inside Roger Adams Lab. Henson also allegedly broke into several labs causing more than $8,500 in damage.


(Undated-jm) -- Area fire departments were busy Tuesday afternoon. Piper City firefighters were called to a combine fire at 1700 E. 2800 N. They were assisted by Danforth fire. Paxton fire was called to assist Buckley and Loda fire for a fire at 680 N. 800 E.



(Paxton-cf)-- The Paxton Masonic Lodge is holding a “Get out of Dodge” raffle. The raffle is for a $2500 voucher to the Peabody Hotel in downtown Memphis Tennessee. You have to be 18 years of age to purchase a ticket, and tickets are $75. Masonic Lodge Member James Sheral has the details on how tickets can be purchased… 



Masonic Lodge Member James Sheral. Tickets will be sold until October 24th, and will be drawn at 1pm at the Masonic Lodge in Paxton. 


(Gilman-jm) -- The Gilman City Council meets tonight for their monthly meeting. Council members will set trick or treat hours and consider amending salaries. The Gilman city council meeting gets underway at 7.



(Rantoul-jm) -- The Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce along with some community businesses will be hosting a holiday shop hop. Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce Director Amanda Vickery talks about this year’s event…



Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Amanda Vickery.



(Champaign-jm) -- Parkland College is announcing their fall enrollment numbers. The Champaign based community college is reporting a 11.5 percent decline compared to last year. That number is better than expected. Earlier projections showed a potential 30 percent decline.

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