(Springfield-jm) -- Despite new rules from the state, the Illinois High School Association says the basketball season can begin. On Tuesday, Governor J-B Pritzker said basketball is being moved to the “high-risk” category for COVID transmission and that for now, only non-contact practices can be held. But now, the IHSA is voting to allow games as well. The Governor responded…



Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. The IHSA says they are implementing safety measures that would keep kids safe such as requiring players and coaches to wear masks. It will be up to districts to decide what to do. The board also voted to move wrestling to the spring and summer months.



(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois consumers are now getting a first look at the Affordable Care Act insurance rates for the upcoming year. Three new insurance carriers will be a part of the Illinois Exchange 2021 Plan Year, bringing the total number of carriers to eight. The Illinois Department of Insurance says most Illinoisans will again see a decrease in premiums this year and rating areas remain the same. Open Enrollment for the Health Insurance Marketplace starts on November 1 and will continue through December 15, 2020.



(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White is reminding the public that expirations for license plate stickers are set to end November 1st. License plate stickers can easily be renewed online at www.cyberdriveillinois.com. Driver’s licenses and ID cards remain extended until February 1, 2021. Since June 1st, more than 1.5 million people have renewed their license plate stickers online.




(Springfield-jm) -- While other states were searching the internet for the term “Deep State,” Illinoisans were searching for “JB Pritzker Corruption.” Researchers with the website NotFreeAmerica.com reviewed Google search data for government distrust searches and found Illinois was one of several states that appear to show a high level of distrust of elected officials of the dominating political party in the state.



(Springfield-jm) -- State and local police are increasing patrols for the Halloween weekend. More cops will be out on the roads from now through early Monday morning, looking for speeders, distracted drivers, and especially those who should not be behind the wheel says Illinois Department of Transportation Spokesperson Paul Wappel…



IDOT Spokesperson Paul Wappel. Wappel says you can use a cab or ride sharing service. He stresses the key is to plan how you will get home ahead of time.



(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 6,110 new Coronavirus cases Wednesday and 51 additional deaths bringing the state’s total number of cases to 389,095 and deaths to 9,619. The state’s seven day positivity rate jumped to 6.7 percent. Locally, McLean County reported 39 new cases bringing their total to 4,251. Champaign County reported 189 new cases bringing their total to 6,176. Livingston County reported 27 new cases bringing their total to 729. Iroquois County reported 12 new cases bringing their total to 569. Vermilion County reported 25 new cases bringing their total to 1,584. Ford County reported no new cases. Kankakee County reported a system glitch and was unable to provide an update.



(Undated-jm) -- Illinois' Region 6 reported a COVID-19 positivity rate that exceeds 8%. Region 6 includes Champaign, Ford, Iroquois and Vermilion Counties among several others. If Region 6 has a positivity rate above 8% for the next two days, it will roll backwards and face new restrictions. Those restrictions are likely to include the closure of indoor dining and bars, and a curfew on those establishments, as well.



(Paxton-jm) -- Paxton firefighters were called to an electrical fire Wednesday evening. Firefighters were called to the 300 block of E. Pine just before 8 pm. No injuries were reported.



(Urbana-cf)-- Halloween Parties might be out of the question this year as we continue to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. However trick or treating this year is not out of the equation, says Champaign-Urbana Public Health District Administrator Julie Pryde… 



Champaign-Urbana Public Health District Administrator Julie Pryde.



(Paxton-jm) -- The Ford County Public Health Department is offering Medicare Open Enrollment Assistance. Open enrollment allows those in the program to compare prescription drug plans. Open enrollment ends December 7th. More information is available by calling the Ford County Public Health Department at 379-9281.



(Washington-jm) -- Surveys indicate a lot less trick-or-treating this year will lead to slumping candy sales. Gary Crawford reports…



Parkland College in Champaign will host an Applied Technologies academic showcase webinar today from 12-1. The link to attend is available on their website parkland dot edu slash visit us.


(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois State Police is visiting businesses violating COVID-19 safety restrictions. State Police Director Brendan Kelly says they have a multi-pronged approach to enforcement, first issuing a verbal warning for non-compliance, then a written warning. For the most flagrant offenders, troopers will issue a misdemeanor citation…



Illinois State Police Director Brendan Kelly. Kelly says they have issued citations in five Illinois counties so far, but that for the most part, businesses are complying after getting a warning. 



(Springfield-jm) -- More than 124,000 hours of overtime, equaling more than $6.4 million. That is what has been dished out to employees of the Illinois Department of Employment Security because of the increased need for their services. From January to September of this year, I-D-E-S employees logged 124,359.25 hours of overtime, equating to compensation of $6,422,267.28.



(Springfield-jm) -- More than $116 million is going towards water infrastructure in Illinois. The funding will support projects across the state of Illinois to keep drinking water safe, improve water quality, and reduce lead exposure. 



(Springfield-jm) -- Because of the COVID-19 pandemic circuit courts in Illinois can now conduct jury selection in civil cases by video conference. Nearly eight months into the pandemic, the Illinois Supreme Court issued the order following a task force recommendation. Civil trials have largely been on hold. Another order allows for remote service in protective orders if certain conditions are met.



(Springfield-jm) -- House Republicans fear the latest restrictions on indoor dining and bar services in several areas of the state will leave businesses in ruins. With the addition of region nine, Lake and McHenry Counties, eight of the state’s 11 regions will now be under the stricter rules. House GOP Leader Jim Durkin says this is killing the economy…



House GOP Leader Jim Durkin. Bar and restaurant owners say they have been taking precautions such as social distancing, wearing masks and sanitizing frequently. They question assertions that their businesses are home to a good deal of COVID transmissions.



(Undated-jm) -- Illinois reported another 61 hundred Coronavirus cases and 51 additional deaths Wednesday bringing the state’s total number of cases to just over 389 thousand and deaths to just over 96 hundred. The state’s positivity rate jumped to 6.7 percent. As for local active and recovered cases, McLean County reported 3,811 have recovered, 393 are in isolation and 11 are hospitalized. Champaign County reported 5,711 have recovered, 437 are in isolation and 6 are hospitalized. Livingston County reported 607 have been removed from isolation, 112 cases are active and 3 are hospitalized. Iroquois County reported 480 have been released from isolation, 62 remain in isolation and 7 are hospitalized. Vermilion County reported 1,383 have been released from isolation, 170 remain in isolation and 18 are hospitalized. Ford County reported 217 have been released, 40 are in isolation and 1 is hospitalized.


(McLean County-jm) -- McLean County reported two additional deaths Wednesday. The McLean County Public Health Department says both deaths are associated to an outbreak at a long term care facility. Their death toll now stands at 36.



(Gibson City-jm) -- Many communities are preparing for a loss in revenue because of the Coronavirus pandemic. One of those communities is Gibson City. They are holding off on a water tower project says Mayor Dan Dickey…



Gibson City Mayor Dan Dickey.



(Urbana-jm) -- The University of Illinois Office of Student Affairs sent a letter warning students of potential consequences if they break COVID-19 restrictions over the course of the Halloween weekend. The office is encouraging students to practice social distancing and mask-wearing while limiting group events.



(Ashkum-jm) -- Illinois State Police in Ashkum have already conducted one Occupant Restraint Enforcement Patrol this month. As WPXN’s Jason Madden reports, they are gearing up for a second one…




(Champaign-jm) -- 52nd District State Senator Scott Bennett of Champaign is encouraging internet providers and co-ops to apply for the 2nd round of broadband funding. The state is announcing $50 million in funding to expand broadband internet access across the state. Up to $5 million will be given for each project.



(Washington-jm) -- If trick or treating is allowed in your community, here are some tips for being a safe and considerate treat giver. Gary Crawford has the details…




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