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(Springfield-jm) -- Another 70,659 initial unemployment claims were filed last week. That’s down about 2,800 from the 73,500 initial claims filed the week before. The U.S. Department of Labor reports around 339,000 insured unemployed for the final week of October.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois lawmakers are calling for hearings on the state’s response to COVID-19. In a bipartisan virtual press conference, Senator Sue Rezin of Morris said there should be more transparency about why decisions are being made, and that legislators need to have a voice during the pandemic…

 

 

State Senator Sue Rezin of Morris. Rezin and her colleague Representative La Shawn Ford of Chicago are asking legislative leaders to set up the meetings. They say there are many concerns to discuss including extra restrictions on bars and restaurants, and the struggle between tenants who can’t afford to pay rent because of COVID and the landlords needing that income.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker says if COVID-19 numbers don’t improve, some sort of stay at home order may be enacted in the coming days. As the number of new cases soars, the Department of Public Health has asked people to limit their activities and travel, and work from home if they can. Governor Pritzker says if we don’t get spread of the virus under control, a statewide mandate may be in order...

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. The Governor says since October 1st, there has been a 459 percent increase in Coronavirus cases and a 217 percent increase in deaths.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois reported another 12,702 cases and 43 deaths Thursday bringing the state’s total number of cases to 536,542 and deaths to 10,477. Locally, McLean County reported 421 new cases and 1 additional death bringing their total cases to 6,096 and deaths to 42. Champaign County reported 414 new cases bringing their total to 7,558. Ford County reported 32 new cases and 2 additional deaths bringing their total number of cases to 440 and deaths to 19. Kankakee County reported 355 new cases and 1 additional death bringing their total number of cases to 5,722 and deaths to 86. Vermilion County reported 35 new cases bringing their total to 2,063. Livingston County reported 134 new cases and 1 new death bringing their total number of cases to 1,396 and deaths to 14. Iroquois County reported 86 new cases and 1 additional death bringing their total number of cases to 1,014 and deaths to 22.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- We are months into the Coronavirus pandemic and while there has been some recent possible positive news about a vaccine, there’s been a significant rise in cases. With that significant rise in cases, most of the state is under enhanced mitigations to try and slow the spread of the virus. 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington calls some of the Governor’s actions into question…

 

 

53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington.

 

 

(Champaign County-jm) -- Schools in Champaign County will likely be going to remote learning. The health department announced Thursday they are encouraging districts to go remote as soon as possible and plan on remote learning into January. St. Joseph Community Schools and St. Joseph Ogden High School both announced they will go remote starting Monday. Rantoul City Schools will go fully remote on Tuesday. Rantoul Township High School announced they are working on plans to go fully remote as well. Thomasboro Grade School said the school board will discuss the issue at Tuesday nights meeting. Fisher, Mahomet Seymour, Gifford Grade School and Ludlow Grade School have not yet announced any plans. 

 

 

(Watseka-jm) --  A local bank raised money in the month of October to help children and families in need. Iroquois Federal employees participated in Jeans Day Donation every Friday during the month of October. Employees raised $1,325 which will go to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. 

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- The Rantoul Family Sports Complex announced three new partnerships Thursday. One Nation Slow Pitch adult softball will host two weekends of tournaments in August. In April KAOS Sports Foundation will bring a U8 to U14 tackle football tournament. The third announcement is the National Softball Association will host their Senior Softball Tournament at the facility in August.

 

 

(Watseka-jm) -- The Iroquois County Board approved to enter into an agreement for a company to send out emergency alerts to those who sign up to receive them. The Iroquois County Emergency Management Agency recently announced the rollout of that program. Iroquois County Emergency Management Agency Director Eric Ceci talks more about the program…

 

 

Iroquois County Emergency Management Agency Director Eric Ceci.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Seven positions will be up for election in the consolidated election in April in Gibson City. The positions include Mayor currently held by Dan Dickey, City Clerk currently held by Carla Moxley, Treasurer currently held by Scott Shull, Ward 1 Alderman currently held by Susie Tongate, Ward 2 Alderman currently held by Randy Wyant, Ward 3 Alderman currently held by Aaron Kafer and Ward 4 Alderman currently held by Dennis Pardick. All the positions are for 4 year terms.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- U.S. corn and soybean producers are seeing a major change in their market prospects. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

The Loda American Legion will host their fish and chicken fry tonight from 4 to 7:30.

 

The Rantoul American Legion Post 287 Auxiliary will host a drive to collect items such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap and shampoo to benefit the Danville VA on Saturday from 8 to noon in the Legion Parking lot.

 

Paxton IGA will be hosting a cookout benefiting Rainbow Girls on Saturday from 10-2.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Fitch Ratings Agency suggests Illinois could make taxpayers pay more to shore the budget up, a mantra Republicans say is tiring. The agency's report said there are narrow options for the state after voters rejected the progressive income tax and lawmakers could increase taxes. Republicans say they are tired of more borrowing and higher taxes and structural reforms are needed to shore up spending.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The National Donor Sabbath begins today, a time when faith leaders work to raise awareness about organ and tissue donation. The donor sabbath runs through the weekend, encouraging those in faith based communities to sign up to become a donor and dispelling some of the myths about donation. Secretary of State Jesse White says despite what some think, it does not go against most major religions and truly is an act of compassion and generosity…

 

 

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White. White notes that just one donor can give life or improve the lives of 25 other people. Sign up at: life goes on dot com.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois reported another 12,000 coronavirus cases and 43 deaths Thursday bringing the states total number of cases to 536,542 and deaths to 10,477. As for local active and recovered cases McLean County 4,738 have recovered, 1308 are in isolation and 8 are hospitalized. Champaign County reported 6,970 have recovered, 551 are in isolation and 7 hospitalized. Kankakee County reported 3,149 have recovered, 2487 cases are active and 55 are hospitalized. Vermilion County reported 1779 have been released from isolation, 244 are in isolation and 23 are hospitalized. Livingston County reported 1021 have been removed from isolation and 361 cases are active. Iroquois County reported 570 have been released from isolation, 407 remain in isolation and 13 are hospitalized.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Work continues on the new Rantoul Family Sports Complex on the village's west side. Rantoul Village Administrator Scott Eisenhower says they have received interests from restaurants and hotels wanting to come to the area…

 

 

Rantoul Village Administrator Scott Eisenhower.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- One area hospital is implementing visitor restrictions. Starting today, Carle Hospital is implementing visitor and support person restrictions at all of their facilities. No visitors will be allowed in the hospital unless they are a support person for someone underage or with a disability. Visitors will also be allowed for end of life situations.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- The University of Illinois System announced its Board of Trustees has approved a budget of $6.74 billion for fiscal year 2021. The budget also includes $628.6 million in state appropriations, which is unchanged from fiscal year 2020. Additionally, it will provide $402.6 million in scholarships and financial aid, an increase of 20.4 percent. Officials said the budget for the fiscal year that runs through June 2021 is down 3.3 percent from last year's budget of $6.97 billion. The U of I System projects it will incur more than $270 million in negative impacts during the fiscal year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The recent warm and dry weather has fueled further drought conditions across the area. The latest drought monitor issued Thursday shows all of Champaign, most of Vermilion, all but the northwestern corner of Iroquois and the southeastern portion of Ford County in moderate drought. The rest of the area is in the abnormally dry category.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- A Paxton senior living facility is doing a Thanksgiving food drive. Accolade Paxton Senior Living is doing the food drive for the second year in a row, collecting donations to give to area schools. Spokesperson Laura Hicks talks about the donations they are looking for…

 

 

Accolade Paxton Senior Living Thanksgiving food drive Spokesperson Laura Hicks. The last day they are taking donations is November 15th. They can be dropped off at their facility at 450 E. Fulton between the hours of 8 and 4.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- 52nd District State Senator Scott Bennett of Champaign is urging people to shop local for the holiday season. Senator Bennett says small businesses play a vital role in the community. He says you can support them through online sales, carryout or curbside service or by buying gift cards.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- USDA is projecting smaller than expected production and stocks and higher than expected prices. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

The Iroquois County Genealogical Society will host a soup-erstistic supper tonight from 4-7 pm.

 

The Gilman Women’s Club will host the 5k Raider Run/Walk on Saturdayat Iroquois West High School.

 

St. Paul’s Lutheran School in Woodworth will host their drive thru fish fry on Saturday starting at 11 am. Cost is a free will donation.

 

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