(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker on Wednesday renewed his call for more federal aid for struggling state and local governments as well as small businesses, but talks in Washington may be stalled until after Election Day. The state of Illinois received roughly $3.5 billion in CARES Act money to pay for expenses related to its COVID-19 response. In recent days, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, has been negotiating with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on a second relief bill and President Trump has signaled his support for one. But national news outlets including the New York Times and Washington Post reported Wednesday that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, has urged the White House not to strike a deal with Democrats before Election Day.



(Springfield-jm) -- An Illinois Senate committee continues to discuss criminal justice reforms, such as putting an end to cash bail. Supporters of the idea say having to pay a cash bond to get out of jail until trial means too many people, especially minorities and the poor, are languishing behind bars because they can’t afford to make bail. This does more harm than good says Illinois Justice Project Director Sharone Mitchell…



Illinois Justice Project Director Sharone Mitchell. Mitchell says since 1970, there has been a 433 percent increase in pre-trial incarcerations. Opponents worry getting rid of cash bail will lead to an increase in those accused of failing to appear in court.



(Springfield-jm) -- A new law in Illinois set to take effect in January of 2022 will require homes to have 10-year sealed battery smoke detectors. There were 91 residential fire deaths in 2019 just in Illinois, and the Illinois Fire Safety Alliance said 70% of those deaths were in homes that did not have a working smoke detector.



(Springfield-jm) -- The state is putting together a plan to distribute a Coronavirus vaccine once it becomes available. The goal would be to first vaccinate those most vulnerable, including health care workers, first responders and staff and residents of long term care facilities says Governor J-B Pritzker. He notes the plan is evolving since questions still remain…


Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Officials say the vaccine will not be a public mandate. It will be free although providers may charge a small fee to administer it.



(Undated-jm) -- Illinois recorded their 355,217th Coronavirus case and 9,345th death. Locally McLean County reported 62 new cases bringing their total to 3,943. Champaign County 41 new cases bringing their total to 5,702. Ford County reported 4 new cases and 2 additional deaths bringing their total to 260 and deaths to 12. Livingston County reported 12 new cases bringing their total to 616. Iroquois County reported 5 new cases bringing their total to 514. Vermilion County reported 37 new cases and 2 additional deaths bringing their total to 1,372 and deaths to 11. Kankakee County reported 30 new cases bringing their total to 3,265.



(Paxton-cf)-- The Paxton Emergency Response Service will be hosting three Chili Suppers in the coming weeks, the first will tonight. The ERS is also looking for volunteers, you can grab your supper, as well as a membership form to volunteer. Paxton ERS volunteer Jason Madden gives some details on what the ERS does, and what they are looking for… 



Paxton ERS Volunteer Jason Madden. The Chili Supper is 8 dollars for a meal which includes a drink and dessert, or 6 dollars for a cup of chili. The supper is dine in or carry out from 5 to 7:30 at their building at 134 W. State Street.



(Champaign County-jm) -- The Champaign-Urbana Public Health District and its COVID-19 Case Investigation and Contact Tracing program are asking residents to help with contact tracing by answering the phone when they call. Those who test positive for COVID-19 or are identified as a close contact to a positive case will receive a call from 312-777-1999 or a 217-531 phone number.



(Rantoul-jm) -- Illinois State Police are investigating a fatal crash near Rantoul Wednesday evening. The accident happened on Route 45 at 2700 north. The road was closed for several hours.



(Gilman-cf)-- Harvest season has begun in the WPXN listening area, and farmers are starting to hit the fields hard. Ford Iroquois Farm Bureau Manager David Treece gives an update on harvest season so far…. 



Ford Iroquois Farm Bureau Manager David Treece.



(Champaign-jm) -- Parkland College is announcing a series of academic showcase webinars for future students. The first webinar is this Friday for health professionals from 1-2:30 pm. Other webinars include applied technologies on October 29th from 12-1, Arts and Sciences on November 6th from 3:30-4:30 pm, Business on November 13th from 10-11 am and computer science on November 13th from 1:30-2:30. To sign up for the webinars visit parkland dot edu slash visit us.



(Watseka-jm) -- The Iroquois County Sheriff’s Office along with the U-S Drug Enforcement Administration will be hosting an unwanted prescription drug takeback day this Saturday. The event will take place from 10 to 2 at the Iroquois County Sheriff’s Department in Watseka. They will only accept pills and patches, no liquids, needles or sharps.



(Washington-jm) -- The USDA forecasts lower stocks of wheat, which also leads to higher expected prices. Stephanie Ho has the details…



(Springfield-jm) -- Taxing retirement income has become a political talking point in the argument over the progressive tax ballot initiative. But, a financial industry advocate warns about the hit to Illinois residents’ 401(k) plans that would stem from a different proposal. The Modern Markets Initiative, an industry group representing financial trading institutions, estimates that a financial transaction tax would cost the average Illinoisan up to $22,452.01 from their retirement fund over 40 years. The group said the tax would cost the average retirement account $144.90 per year. Taxpayers would also take a hit in the publicly-funded pensions they’re responsible for funding. Modern Markets Initiative estimates a financial transaction tax in Illinois would cost the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund, $12.20 billion over 3 decades if the tax was 50 basis points per trade.



(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois State Fire Marshal’s Office is encouraging the public to keep safety in mind when decorating for fall and Halloween. To ensure you have a safe Trick or Treating and fall season, Fire Marshal Spokesperson J-C Fultz recommends being careful with candles and choosing costumes that don’t have a lot of trailing fabric…



State Fire Marshal Spokesperson J-C Fultz. According to the National Fire Protection Association, an average of 770 home structure fires begin with decorations that were too close to a heat source each year across the U-S.



(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Municipal League is calling on the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to speed up release of federal funds intended to aid communities during the coronavirus pandemic. So far, DCEO says it has released just $21 million of the nearly $150 million in funding set aside for Illinois municipalities through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security ACT.



(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting the highest daily COVID-19 death toll since mid-June. 69 more people lost their battle with the Coronavirus, bringing the total number of patients who have died in Illinois to over 93 hundred. Test positivity rates and hospital admissions are rising across the state as well, says State Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike…



State Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike. Over 43 hundred new cases are being reported statewide, which is also close to a daily high for Illinois. As for local active and recovered cases, McLean County reported 3,622 have recovered, 275 are in isolation and 15 are hospitalized. Champaign County reported 5,376 recovered, 298 are in isolation and 7 hospitalized. Ford County reported 208 have been released from isolation, 34 are in isolation and 6 are hospitalized. Livingston County reported 525 have been removed from isolation, 81 cases are active with 4 hospitalized. Iroquois County reported 442 have been released from isolation, 48 were in isolation and 5 hospitalized. Vermilion County reported 1,173 have been released from isolation, 178 are in isolation and 10 hospitalized. Kankakee County reported 2,648 have recovered, 492 cases are active and 28 are hospitalized.



(Gibson City-jm) -- The Coronavirus pandemic is having an impact on more than just city, county and state budgets. Schools are also being affected. Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley Schools Superintendent Jeremy Darnell talks about the impact it is having on their budget…



GCMS Schools Superintendent Jeremy Darnell.



(Champaign-jm) -- A Champaign home was destroyed by fire Wednesday evening. The fire happened in the 800 block of Healey Street just after 7pm. The house sustained significant damage.



(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Sheriffs' Association is warning people about a phone scam that falsely uses the name and phone numbers of the association. The Illinois Sheriffs' Association said those who offer opportunities that seem too good to be true or are looking for you to act immediately are likely scammers. They also say that if you have any doubts or are highly pressured, just hang up the phone.



(Ashkum-jm) -- District 21 Illinois State Police in Ashkum are announcing Roadside Safety Checks will be conducted in the month of October. WPXN’s Jason Madden reports…




(Peoria-jm) -- Peoria based OSF Healthcare is announcing a data security breach at one of their vendors. The data breach occurred at Blackbaud Inc between February 7th and May 20th. The hospital says the hackers got personal information of donors and other fundraising activities.



(Mahomet-jm) -- A new stop light has popped up in Mahomet. The stoplight is at the intersection of Lake of the Woods Road and U-S 150. It’s part of a $300,000 project that’s expected to be completed this week.



(Washington-jm) -- If you plan to have an uncarved pumpkin decorating your home this Halloween, you can reuse it, creating a delicious food item or snack. Rod Bain has the details…




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