(Springfield-jm) -- It looks like Illinois’ supply of COVID-19 vaccine expected in the coming weeks is being cut in half. Governor J-B Pritzker says they were originally told that eight million doses of the Pfizer vaccine would be shipped out across the country next week…



Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. The Governor says the shipment for the following week has also been reduced by about 50 percent and notes this will not affect distribution of doses received this week.



(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 7,123 new Coronavirus cases and 146 additional deaths Wednesday bringing the state’s total number of cases to 870,600 and deaths to 14,655. Locally, McLean County reported 101 new cases bringing their total to 10,333. Champaign County reported 65 new cases bringing their total to 12,627. Livingston County reported 31 new cases bringing their total to 2,801. Ford County reported 26 new cases bringing their total to 1,040. Kankakee County reported 63 new cases bringing their total to 10,088. Iroquois County reported 28 new cases bringing their total to 2,121. Vermilion County reported 71 new cases bringing their total to 4,381.



(Undated-jm) -- As for cases in area communities, Paxton reported 418 cases, Gibson City 325, Elliott 23, Loda 87, Buckley 35, Roberts 23, Melvin 50, Sibley 29, Ludlow 32, Rantoul 1,074, Gifford 126, Thomasboro 65, St. Joseph 384, Penfield 50, Dewey 31, Fisher 137, Foosland 29, Mahomet 671, Cissna Park 151, Onarga 172, Gilman 237, Rankin 47, Hoopeston 431, Potomac 100, Thawville 19, Milford 126, Wellington 36, Sheldon 60, Watseka 421, Crescent City 51, Danforth 68, Ashkum 130, Clifton 229, Chebanse 203, Martinton 58, Beaverville 40, Donovan 44, Cabery 27, Kempton 21, Cullom 55, Strawn 26, Chatsworth 83, Forrest 133, Fairbury 408, Cropsey 7, Anchor 10, Saybrook 48 and Bellflower 25.



(Gibson City-jm) -- The first doses of the Pfizer Coronavirus vaccine are here in Ford County. The first vaccines were delivered by the Ford County Public Health Department to Gibson Area Hospital yesterday afternoon and administered to an ER nurse as well as the hospital's CEO.



(Springfield-jm) -- A new statewide effort aims to get computers into the hands of those who can’t afford one. With so many students and adults working remotely, access to a computer or mobile device is more important than ever says Governor J-B Pritzker. That’s why the state is launching the Connect Illinois Computer Equity Network, which will begin distributing 20 thousand computers to low income families. The Governor is asking businesses to participate as well…



Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Individuals are also encouraged to donate old computers. Visit illinois dot gov slash computer equity network to donate or apply for a device. Community events will be held as well.



(Springfield-jm) -- Several education unions are pushing Illinois State Board of Education officials to postpone standardized testing for this school year. The surge in COVID-19 rates across Illinois and the large number of students and their families that will be impacted is the reason they're asking for the testing to be pushed back. The Chicago Teachers Union, the Illinois Education Association, the Illinois Principals Association, and the Illinois Association of School Administrators, the Illinois Federation of Teachers sent a joint letter to ISBE saying the current environment will greatly impact students' academic performances.



(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois ranks as one of the least financially-transparent states in the nation. Truth in Accounting lists the Land of Lincoln as the eighth-worst state in the country for financial transparency, scoring 73 out of 100 possible points. That’s an improvement by one point from last year’s report, though the state slipped one spot in the overall rankings, landing at No. 49.



(Washington-jm) -- What does USDA's latest world corn outlook indicate regarding production, especially from one of our nation's main global competitors? Rod Bain reports…




(Danville-jm) -- A Vermilion County man has been sentenced to 16 years in state prison for sexually assaulting a child. Benny Helms pleaded guilty to predatory criminal sexual assault of a child. Helms was accused of assaulting the girl after he moved into the child’s home.



(Springfield-jm) -- 10 months after the Coronavirus pandemic began, the fight continues. With the second surge of the virus, many orders have been put in place to try and slow the spread. Governor Pritzker has issued over 50 executive orders related to the pandemic, which isn’t setting well with Republicans like 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington…



53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington.



(Urbana-jm) -- A new outpatient addiction treatment center has opened in Urbana. Recovery Concepts, a network of Illinois addiction treatment centers, has announced the grand opening of their Champaign-Urbana outpatient addiction treatment center. The outpatient clinic is located at 710 W. Killarney St. in Urbana. Recovery Concepts offers early clinic hours, 6 days a week, offering medication assisted treatment along with counseling services.



(Undated-jm) -- Illinois recorded another 7,123 new Coronavirus cases and 146 deaths bringing the state’s total number of cases during the pandemic to 870,600 and deaths to 14,655. As for local active and recovered cases, McLean County reported 9,113 have recovered, 1119 are in isolation and 26 are hospitalized. Champaign County reported 11,737 have recovered, 813 are in isolation and 23 are hospitalized. Livingston County reported 2,553 have been removed from isolation and 161 cases remain active. Kankakee County reported 4,805 have recovered, 5143 cases are active with 45 hospitalized. Iroquois County reported 1,667 have been released from isolation, 401 remain in isolation and 6 are hospitalized. Vermilion County reported 3,998 have been released from isolation, 290 remain in isolation and 37 are hospitalized.



(Undated-jm) -- Several deaths were also reported around the area Wednesday. McLean County reported 2 additional deaths bringing their total to 75. Champaign, Livingston, Iroquois and Vermilion Counties each recorded an additional death bringing their totals to 77, 49, 47 and 56 respectively. Kankakee County reported 4 new deaths bringing their total to 140. Ford County did not report any deaths leaving their total at 27.



(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Central Management Services is announcing the new Native American Employment Plan Advisory Council, which will work to increase diversity in state government. The 10 member group is looking at ways to attract more Native American state employees and address any barriers they face in applying or promoting to higher positions says CMS Deputy Director Rebecca Roussell…



Illinois Department of Central Management Services Deputy Director Rebecca Roussell. There are more than 750 thousand Native Americans living in Illinois but they only make up a very small portion of the state government workforce.



(Springfield-jm) -- On Monday, the Special Investigative Committee in the Illinois House of Representatives dissolved their investigation into House Speaker Michael Madigan. The investigation occurred after the speaker was implicated in a federal bribery investigation involving Chicago utility company, ComEd. Despite the dissolved investigative committee, the controversy may have imperiled Madigan’s chances at reelection as Speaker of the House. 19 Illinois House Democrats are currently not supporting Madigan’s reelection in January leaving Madigan 6 votes short of the 60 needed to win.



(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Transportation is reporting the potential for staffing issues this winter due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Out of 5,000 employees statewide, 130 are currently not at work for reasons related to COVID-19. Those reasons include being quarantined, being exposed, testing positive for the virus, awaiting test results, or caring for a vulnerable individual.



(Paxton-jm) -- The Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce says chamber bucks make a great gift this holiday season. Chamber bucks spend like cash and can be used at any chamber business says Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce President Alan Meyer…



Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce President Alan Meyer.



(Paxton-jm) -- The Ford County 2020 tax sale has been postponed due to COVID-19 regulations. The new scheduled date is February 17th, 2021 at 1:00 pm.  Property owners will be able to make payments on delinquent 2019 payable 2020 taxes until February 16th, 2021. If you still need to make a tax payment, please contact the treasurer’s office for current amount due.  All payments must be in the form of cash, certified check or payments will be accepted online at gov tech tax pro dot com through the first week of February.  For more information, please contact the treasurer’s office or visit the Ford County Treasurer’s website at ford county dot illinois dot gov.


(Peoria-jm) -- OSF Healthcare is offering a cutting edge infusion to help prevent COVID-19 hospital admissions. The infusion, called Bamlanivimab (bam-luh-ni-vi-mab) , or BAM, was created by Eli Lily for high risk adult and pediatric COVID-19 positive patients with mild to moderate symptoms. OSF Healthcare Vice President of Physician Services Dr Mark Meeker talks about how they got emergency use authorization from the FDA…



OSF Healthcare Vice President of Physician Services Dr Mark Meeker. BAM is most effective when given early, and needs to be administered within 10 days of the onset of symptoms. 



(Undated-jm) -- You hear it every year: “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” the perennial holiday classic about someone giving 12 gifts to their paramour that they probably don’t know what to do with. As part of its annual tradition, PNC Bank has released its Christmas Price Index of how much the 12 Days of Christmas gifts would cost adjusted for today’s economy. A Partridge in a Pear Tree cost $210.18, Two Turtle Doves cost $450. Three French Hens cost $210.  Four Calling Birds cost $599.96. Five Gold Rings cost $945. Six Geese-A-Laying cost $570. Seven Swans-A-Swimming cost $13,125. Eight Maids-A-Milking cost $58. Nine Ladies Dancing cost not available. COVID-19 has wrecked the bar and nightclub industry. Same with the 10 lords-a-leaping. Eleven Pipers Piping cost not available. Live music venues continue to see gigantic losses in 2020. Same with Twelve Drummers Drumming. In all, the 2020 cost is $16,168.14 down from $38,993 last year.

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