(Springfield-jm) -- A new report puts the cost and condition of Illinois’ state-run roads near the worst in the country. The 25th Annual Highway Report, compiled by The Reason Foundation, looks at state highways in 13 different categories, including pavement condition, traffic congestion, structurally deficient bridges, traffic fatalities, and spending per mile. The organization placed Illinois at 37th overall, behind all neighboring states, including second-ranked Missouri. Illinois ranks 32nd in structurally deficient bridges, 32nd in urban interstate pavement condition, and 42nd in capital and bridge costs per mile. Its worst category performance was traffic congestion, ranking 49th.



(Springfield-jm) -- The coronavirus has extinguished some traditional holiday cheer at the Illinois Capitol in Springfield. There will be no Christmas tree nor any holiday displays inside or outside the building. Lights on the Capitol dome won’t be used for the second consecutive year. Engineers have recommended that an observation deck, which is used to anchor the lights, be fortified. The giant artificial tree in the rotunda will also not be put up this year.



(Springfield-jm) -- If you think you were exposed to COVID-19 over the Thanksgiving weekend, the Illinois Department of Public Health recommends waiting a week before getting tested. Got together with people outside your home over the holiday and fear you may have been infected? It won’t help to get tested right away says State Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike…



State Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike. Ezike says you should go ahead and get tested if you start to show symptoms earlier.



(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois now has over 720 thousand Coronavirus cases and over 12 thousand Coronavirus related deaths since the pandemic began. We will bring you the latest numbers on our news at 4 and 5.



(Paxton-jm) -- The Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce says they are seeing an influx of out of town shoppers. President Alan Meyer says the many unique businesses in town bring people from all over…



Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce President Alan Meyer.



(Paxton-jm) -- Paxton welcomed in the Christmas season Friday night with the lighting of the town’s Christmas tree at the intersection of Market and State. The blue spruce was donated by Mike and Maria Light. Santa and Frosty the Snowman made an appearance as well.



(Ford County-jm) -- Santa made an appearance around Ford County Saturday. Santa started the day in Paxton and made stops in Elliott, Gibson City, Sibley, Melvin, Roberts, Piper City, Kempton and Cabery. 



(Springfield-jm) -- Several lawmakers are calling on Governor J-B Pritzker to call the General Assembly back to Springfield. The fall veto session was canceled because of the Coronavirus pandemic but 101st District State Representative Dan Caulkins says they want to be at the capitol…



101st District State Representative Dan Caulkins of Decatur. 



(Watseka-jm) -- The body of a Watseka soldier returned home Friday. Sergeant Jeremy Sherman was killed in a helicopter accident in Egypt. A plane carrying his body landed at Midway Airport where a motorcade escorted him down I-57 to Gilman and across on Route 24 to Knapp Funeral Home in Watseka. People lined the streets with flags in his honor.



(Washington-jm) -- USDA has a new projection for U.S. agricultural product sales to China during this new 2021 fiscal year. Gary Crawford reports…



(Springfield-jm) -- A new look at Illinois’ manufacturing industry over the last decade shows that, since 1999, the state has shed one out of every three jobs. That’s far more severe than the national number of one in 4. The report, conducted by Smartest Dollar, looked at Census data on manufacturing sector employment since the turn of the century. It found that the nation’s manufacturing jobs had decreased not only because of outsourcing to countries with lower labor costs but also because the jobs themselves had become more efficient.  The Chicago area accounts for the lion’s share of manufacturing jobs in Illinois, particularly in the automotive industry. In 1999, the metropolitan area supported 648,600 jobs. In 2019, the number had dwindled to 419,500. That’s a reduction of more than 35%. The results are even more pronounced when measuring losses from the recession to last year.



(Springfield-jm) -- Attorney General Kwame Raoul, along with Connecticut Attorney General William Tong and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, led a coalition of 46 attorneys general in announcing a $17.5 million-dollar settlement with The Home Depot. The settlement resolves a multistate investigation of a 2014 data breach, which exposed the payment card information of approximately 40 million Home Depot consumers nationwide. Illinois will receive more than $1.3 million. The breach occurred when hackers gained access to The Home Depot’s network and deployed malware that enabled them for a period of time to obtain the payment card information of Home Depot customers who used self-checkout lanes at Home Depot stores throughout the U.S. 



(Gibson City-jm) -- The Coronavirus pandemic is affecting how Gibson City will ring in the Christmas holiday season. The typical lighted Christmas parade is off for this year, however, a static light display of floats will take place at North Park on December 10th and 11th from 5 to 9 pm. Spokesperson Susie Tongate says kids can also bring letters for Santa…



Gibson City Christmas Spokesperson Susie Tongate.



(Mahomet-jm) -- Mahomet firefighters are investigating a garage fire over the weekend. The fire happened near the 1200 block of Partridge Court around 10:50. No injuries were reported.



(Roberts-jm) -- The village of Roberts is hosting a house decorating contest. The deadline to submit to be apart of the contest is today. Voting will take place until December 20th. To sign up email mavaughan76 at hotmail dot com.



(Springfield-jm) -- Several lawmakers are calling on Governor J-B Pritzker to call the General Assembly back to Springfield. The fall veto session was canceled because of the pandemic however, 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City says there are several issues from the Coronavirus pandemic to reforms that need to be discussed…



106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.



(Watseka-jm) -- A local paramedic has died after contracting Coronavirus. Don Dodson worked for Pro Ambulance before joining Carle’s Arrow ambulance both of which are based in Urbana. Thursday, a procession of emergency vehicles escorted Dodson from Urbana to a funeral home in Watseka.



(Washington-jm) -- Looking forward to the coming winter, what are some safe bets in terms of weather expectations for the nation? Stephanie Ho reports…



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