(Springfield-jm) -- Applying for a Firearm Owner Identification Card or Concealed Carry License online could include an extra hurdle. The Illinois State Rifle Association said they noticed last week the online portal for FOID, Conceal Carry License and firearms instructors now requires a cell phone number or an email address. Illinois State Rifle Association said that could negatively affect hundreds of thousands of people who are “technologically challenged” or those who don’t have computers or cell phones.



(Springfield-jm) -- The COVID-19 pandemic has slashed state tax revenues from legalized gambling. Revenues are down more than $200 million – or 13.4% – for fiscal 2020. The Illinois Lottery is the largest source of Illinois gambling revenues. The pandemic has depressed lottery ticket sales by $172.5 million. Early estimates indicate that in the 2019-2020 fiscal year, lottery ticket sales in Illinois were down by 5.8%.



(Springfield-jm) -- The state is launching an effort to get more taxpayers to take advantage of the earned income tax credit. The initiative targets over 22 thousand Illinoisans who qualify for, but did not claim the credit says Illinois Department of Revenue Spokesperson Sam Salustro…



Illinois Department of Revenue Spokesperson Sam Salustro. Salustro says most households are eligible for both the federal and state earned income tax credit if they earn less than 56 thousand dollars. Families can receive up to 65 hundred for the federal credit and 11 hundred for the Illinois credit.


(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois’ unemployment rate remains higher than the national average. The state’s rate for September was 9.8 percent, the highest monthly rate since 2011. Illinois’ rate is more than 2 points higher than the national average of 7.7 percent. Locally, the unemployment rate in Champaign County went from 3.3 percent in 2019 to 6.2 percent last month. Ford Counties rose from 3.6 percent to 5.4 percent. Vermilion County rose from 4.7 percent to 8.4 percent. Iroquois Counties rose from 3.6 percent to 5.4 percent.



(Rantoul-jm) -- The Rantoul police department is updating their fleet. Village Administrator Scott Eisenhower says the city purchased two new vehicles…



Rantoul Village Administrator Scott Eisenhower.



(Paxton-jm) -- A Paxton church held a dedication yesterday for the renovation of their bell tower. The First United Methodist Church started renovations in May and wrapped them up last month. The bell tower was constructed in 1902.



(Gilman-jm) -- ERH has announced they will be flushing hydrants in Gilman starting today.



(Urbana-jm) -- A complaint has been filed with the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights against the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. It also alleges that UIUC has allowed a hostile environment for Jewish students on its campus, in violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. According to the complaint, there has been an increase in anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism at the university over the past five years.



(Urbana-cf)-- Halloween is right around the corner and that means that kids and their families will be out trick-or-treating. However, due to the pandemic Halloween parties are very discouraged this year due to COVID-19 outbreaks happening at parties. Champaign-Urbana Public Health District Administrator Julie Pryde has the details on Halloween guidance for Champaign County this year… 



Champaign-Urbana Public Health District Administrator Julie Pryde. Pryde also says that it is ok to trick or treat this year, but be sure to wear a mask. 



(Roberts-jm) -- The state will be bringing their mobile COVID testing to Ford County this week. The Ford County Public Health Department announced the testing will take place on Thursday from 9 to 4 at the Roberts Gym.



(Champaign County-jm) -- The amount of gun violence cases in Champaign county are spiking according to the county sheriff. The county has seen five shooting related incidents since mid-September. There have been a total of 15 incidents over the course of the entire year of 2020. Many of the shootings have been in the Champaign-Urbana area.



(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Restaurant Association says it is keeping all ideas on the table, including legal challenges, when dealing with Governor J.B. Pritzker’s COVID-19 mitigation efforts. IRA President and CEO Sam Toia said the association opposes the governor's rules, but urged its members to comply. He suggested the governor limit alcohol service at restaurants to tables only to avoid congestion at an establishment's bar or lower indoor capacity limits, rather than prohibition of indoor service.



(Springfield-jm) -- Following the Pritzker administration’s announcement of $140 million in CARES payments to Medicaid providers, the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services is encouraging Medicaid providers to apply for the second round of funding through its HFS CARES Portal before the deadline of October 31, 2020. CARES payments can be used to offset unexpected costs incurred due to COVID-19. Examples include expenses related to providing PPE for employees or customers, deep cleaning services, payroll expenses for hazard pay, and other healthcare supplies.



(Undated-jm) -- Temperatures over the weekend were cooler than normal. How does the weather look for the last week of October and into the beginning of November? State Climatologist Trent Ford has the details…



State Climatologist Trent Ford.



(Undated-jm) -- Illinois now has more than 374,256 Coronavirus cases after the state recorded a record number Saturday. The state reported 6,161 cases Saturday and 4,062 Sunday. The state also reported 87 total deaths over the weekend. The seven day positivity rate is 6.1 percent.



(Gibson City-jm) -- Area school districts are facing a budget crunch in part due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The Gibson City Melvin Sibley School District is facing a $1.5 million deficit however, superintendent Jeremy Darnell says it may not be as bad as they are predicting…



GCMS Schools Superintendent Jeremy Darnell.



(Gibson City-jm) -- Gibson City Melvin Sibley High School is going remote learning starting today. The district announced the plan yesterday after a large number of high school students are quarantined. The change only affects the high school and district leaders hope to resume in person instruction on November 9th.



(Hoopeston-jm) -- Hoopeston City Hall will remain closed for a little while longer. They were supposed to reopen to the public today, however, another employee tested positive for the Coronavirus last week so now city hall won’t reopen until November 9th. Employees at city hall can still be reached by phone.



(Urbana-jm) -- A popular pizza joint in Urbana closed its doors over the weekend. Rosati’s Pizza announced Sunday was their last day in operation. The owners cited the pandemic and restrictions as the reason for the sudden closure.



(Danville-jm) -- The Vermilion County Public Health Department will be hosting five flu clinics. The flu clinics will be this Wednesday and Thursday from 9 to noon and Friday from 2-5. Then again November 6th and 7th.



(Ashkum-jm) -- District 21 Illinois State Police have released results from their recent NITE patrol. 3 people were cited for drug and alcohol related offenses, 2 for occupant restraint offenses, 5 for drivers license offenses and 1 for insurance offenses.



(Washington-jm) -- The latest Consumer Price Index shows declining prices for most foods. Gary Crawford reports…




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