(Springfield-jm) -- Beginning Today, driver services facilities across Illinois will be closed to the public for walk-in service. The shutdown will be for three weeks. Secretary of State Jesse White’s office said employees will still be paid with some drive-up services available. In-person CDL certification at various locations will continue.



(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois’ 73 adult-use cannabis stores sold more than $75.2 million of pot in October. That brings the total amount sold since January to more than half a billion dollars. For the sales taxes from adult-use cannabis remitted to the state in October, the state brought in $21 million, nearly a million more than the month before, for a total of more than $127 million.



(Springfield-jm) -- With COVID-19 well into its second wave, the Illinois Federation of Teachers is calling on the state to make remote learning the norm for the foreseeable future. The IFT thinks a set plan from the governor for all 852 school districts is exactly what they need. 



(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker says there’s “Real Hope” for widespread distribution of a Coronavirus vaccine by the spring. The nation will be battling COVID-19 for the next few months, but the Governor says there is a light at the end of the tunnel. He notes recent announcements of promising vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna…



Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. In the meantime, Governor Pritzker says everyone must do what they can to slow the spread of the virus and to ensure as many people as possible are around to receive the vaccine.



(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 11,632 new Coronavirus cases Monday and 37 additional deaths bringing the state’s total number of cases to 585,248 and deaths to 10,779. Locally since Friday, Champaign County reported 469 new cases bringing their total number of cases to 8,184. McLean County reported 507 new cases and 2 additional deaths bringing their total number of cases to 6,723 and deaths to 45. Iroquois County reported 113 new cases and 1 additional death bringing their total number of cases 1,186 and deaths to 25.  Vermilion County reported 114 new cases bringing their total to 2,267. Livingston County reported 160 new cases to 1,651. Kankakee County reported 754 new cases and 2 additional deaths bringing their total number of cases to 6,722 and deaths to 88. Ford County reported no new cases.



(Paxton-jm) -- The Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce is gearing up for their annual bag sale. The bag sale starts this weekend says Chamber President Alan Meyer…



Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce President Alan Meyer.



(Champaign-jm) -- Champaign County residents may be eligible to receive financial relief to help pay the bills amid the pandemic. The Champaign County Regional Planning Commission is accepting more applications for the CSBG COVID-19 Relief Program. This program is available to Champaign County households that have been financially impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, resulting in past-due rent, mortgage, sewer, or water bill payments. Applications are due by November 30th at 1pm.



(Charleston-jm) -- Eastern Illinois University students won't return to campus for classes after the Thanksgiving holiday break. EIU will be moving to online-only learning after the break and for the remainder of the fall semester. 



(Watseka-cf)-- The Watseka Chamber of Commerce will be hosting their annual Christmas Parade this year. If you would like to enter this years parade, Watseka Chamber of Commerce Spokesperson Amanda Hibbs has the details… 



Watseka Chamber of Commerce Spokesperson Amanda Hibbs. 



(Paxton-jm) -- Paxton police have released their recent activity report. On November 13th, no injuries were reported and no tickets issued after a two vehicle accident in the 300 block of S. Market. On November 12th, Amy Martin of Rantoul was ticketed for failure to yield and operating an uninsured motor vehicle following a two vehicle accident at Market and Pells. On November 11th Benjamin Mason of Paxton was arrested for driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol and ticketed for illegal possession of adult use cannabis, leaving the scene of an accident, disobeying a stop sign following a traffic accident at Pells and Spring.



(Springfield-jm) -- Corn and soybean harvest is now complete in Illinois. There were five days suitable for fieldwork this past week with temperatures more than six degrees above normal and rainfall a little more than usual. Harvesting is now done so State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener looks at the winter wheat crop…



State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. Average statewide topsoil moisture is rated as 10 percent very short, 21 percent short, 66 percent adequate and three percent surplus.

(Springfield-jm) -- A judge ruled in favor of Governor J-B Pritzker in recent lawsuits against the governor. Sangamon County Judge Raylene Grishow upheld the latest ruling on the lawsuits, stating Pritzker had the authority to issue his executive orders regarding COVID-19. Additionally, Grishow ruled that schools are not exempt from the state's coronavirus mitigations.



(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker is seeking “tax adjustments” for businesses to bring more revenue into state coffers, following months of stay-at-home orders, continued COVID-19 mitigation and a failed progressive income tax proposal. A five-year budget forecast has the state’s current spending plan nearly $4 billion out of balance. It projects continued deficits in future years. Aside from seeking to close “loopholes,” the administration said it will continue to push for federal aid.



(Undated-jm) -- Illinois residents can shop for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act Health Insurance Marketplace. Open enrollment will run through Tuesday, December 15th. The Illinois Department of Insurance said 179 plans are being offered by eight carriers.



(Springfield-jm) -- As COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to rise in Illinois, Governor J-B Pritzker is urging everyone to stay home as much as possible. The number of Coronavirus patients in the hospital has increased by 260 percent over the past month and a half. So the message is simple, says Governor Pritzker: stay home if you can and wear a mask if you go out…



Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. The Governor says Illinois is averaging about 52 hundred COVID patients in the hospital each day, and that the number of hospitalizations has risen 70 percent in just the last two weeks.



(Undated-jm) -- Illinois now has 585,248 Coronavirus cases and 10,779 deaths. As for local active and recovered cases, Champaign County reported 7,373 have recovered, 772 are in isolation and 12 are hospitalized. McLean County reported 5,119 have recovered, 1,544 are in isolation and 15 are hospitalized. Iroquois County reported 664 have been released from isolation, 482 are in isolation and 15 are hospitalized. Vermilion County reported 1,916 have been released from isolation, 295 are in isolation and 29 are hospitalized. Livingston County reported 1,191 have been removed from isolation and 445 cases are active. Kankakee County reported 3,318 have recovered, 3,316 cases are active and 86 are hospitalized. Ford County had no report.



(Gibson City-jm) -- Gibson City will ring in the Christmas holiday season a little differently this year. Spokesperson Susie Tongate talks about some of the changes…



Gibson City Christmas Spokesperson Susie Tongate.



(Urbana-jm) -- The University of Illinois Police Department received a report of an alleged extortion scheme. Police say a student told them he engaged in a consensual sexual act via the internet with a person he had met online. The sexual act was allegedly recorded without the student's knowledge, and the offender threatened to share the video with the student's family and friends unless they received payment.



(Rantoul-jm) -- Economic development opportunities are booming in the village of Rantoul. The new $20 million sports complex on the village’s west side is expected to bring new restaurants, hotels and businesses to the village. Rantoul Village Administrator Scott Eisenhower says there is a lot of economic interests in the village…



Rantoul Village Administrator Scott Eisenhower.



(Danville-jm) -- Danville Area Community College will be offering an EMT course starting in January. The training, Thursdays from 6-10 pm, will run January 1st  through May 27th. Cost is $750. For more details or to sign up, call 217-443-8777.



(Springfield-jm) -- Corn and soybean harvest is now complete in Illinois. With five days suitable for fieldwork, farmers were able to finish up harvesting. All of the winter wheat crop has been planted and 92 percent emerged. State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says wheat declined slightly to 66 percent in good to excellent condition. Additionally…



State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. Temperatures were nearly six degrees above average this past week and rainfall was slightly up, leaving average statewide topsoil moisture at 10 percent very short, 21 percent short, 66 percent adequate and three percent surplus.

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