(Springfield-jm) -- Sports betting industry group PlayIllinois says the state has reached a level in only four months no other jurisdiction has reached in fewer than 16 months. The group said Illinois sportsbooks drew more than $430 million in bets in October, up 42 percent from September and the fourth largest handle in the U.S.



(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois State Rifle Association says a judge could order Illinois State Police to follow the law and issue Firearm Owner Identification Cards. The group filed an injunction against ISP for the state agency to comply with the FOID Card Act that says they must issue or deny cards within 30 days. Last week, state police said they have more than 145,000 backlogged requests and an average wait of 121 days.



(Springfield-jm) -- Legislation is being introduced this week to allow Illinois lawmakers to conduct business remotely in the event of an emergency. Representative Ann Williams of Chicago is sponsoring the bill saying its imperative the legislature can act even if they can’t get together physically…



State Representative Ann Williams of Chicago. Earlier this year the Senate adopted rules letting members meet virtually, but a bill letting the House do the same fell one vote short of passage. Williams said she’d like to see this new legislation passed as soon as they are in session.



(Undated-jm) -- Illinois reported 4,669 new cases and 98 deaths Monday. Locally since Friday, Champaign County reported 273 new cases bringing their total to 13,093. McLean County reported 237 new cases bringing their total to 10,776. Ford County reported 50 new cases bringing their total to 1,129. Livingston County reported 43 new cases bringing their total to 2,896. Kankakee County reported 101 new cases bringing their total to 10,311. Iroquois County reported 34 new cases bringing their total to 2,192. Vermilion County reported 97 new cases bringing their total to 4,622.



(Paxton-jm) -- The City of Paxton made some improvements in their downtown area this fall. The city’s Streetscape project was put on hold as the Coronavirus pandemic hit. Mayor Bill Ingold says the work that was done was a temporary band aid to get by…



Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold.



(Rantoul-jm) -- Rantoul firefighters were called to a fire Monday afternoon. Crews were called to a dumpster fire behind the south Caseys around 3:30. No word on the cause of the fire or how much damage was done.



(Undated-jm) -- How does the weather look as we head into the final weeks of the year and start 2021? State Climatologist Trent Ford has the details…



State Climatologist Trent Ford.



(Urbana-jm) -- The Eastern Illinois Foodbank has received a large donation. The foodbank received a $60,000 donation from Apex Clean Energy which operates the Ford Ridge Wind Farm in Ford County as well as the Diamond Grove Wind Farm in McLean County. 



(Undated-jm) -- As temperatures continue to drop, it is important to bundle up. However, parents need to remember to take your kids' coats off once you are inside the car. Health officials said the air inside the coat will compress and create space. In a car crash, that space can cause injury or the child to be ejected from their seat. Parents should put their child in a thin fleece or sweater. For infants, swaddle a blanket around them after harnessing them in. You can also place a blanket on top of the child's car seat to block the wind.


(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Chamber of Commerce says the push to end business incentives to plug the state’s nearly $4 billion budget hole is the wrong approach during an economic crisis. CEO Todd Maisch said the government should be helping businesses, not punishing them with higher taxes. Statehouse Democrats are pushing to end what they call “loopholes” and “giveaways” for businesses instead of the governor’s proposed $711 million in cuts.



(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois residents, nonprofits, and local organizations helped the state rank among the top ten for best census self-response rates. Illinois came in 7th nationwide and first among states with more than 9 million in population size. Illinois exceeded the response rate of 70.5% from the last census in 2010. This year, the response rate was 71.4%.



(Springfield-jm) -- The time for real public input on Illinois’ response to COVID-19 is long overdue. Ray Watt has the details…




(Undated-jm) -- Illinois now has 905,069 Coronavirus cases and 15,299 deaths after the state reported 4,669 new cases Monday and 98 additional deaths. As for local active and recovered cases, Champaign County reported 12,302 have recovered, 712 are in isolation and 16 are hospitalized. McLean County reported 9,484 have recovered, 1179 are in isolation and 28 are hospitalized. Livingston County reported 2,721 have been removed from isolation and 122 cases are active. Kankakee County reported 5,001 have recovered, 5165 cases are active and 37 are hospitalized. Iroquois County reported 2,016 have been released from isolation, 122 remain in isolation and 5 are hospitalized. Vermilion County reported 4,236 have been released from isolation, 288 are in isolation and 39 are hospitalized.



(Springfield-jm) -- If you need a last minute gift idea, Illinois Treasurer Mike Frerichs suggests giving the gift of college. Kids that already have piles of toys and games will benefit later from your contribution to a Bright Start College Savings Account says Treasurer Frerichs…



State Treasurer Mike Frerichs. Frerichs says you can also start a Bright Start account for a child or teen, with no minimum contribution required. Bright Start funds can be used for college tuition, books and more.



(Mahomet-jm) -- Champaign County Sheriff’s police are investigating after a pair of vehicles were broken into over the weekend at Lake of the Woods in Mahomet. They say the vehicles had windows smashed and items taken from inside. Anyone with information is asked to call the Champaign County Sheriff’s Office.



(Springfield-jm) -- Many Illinois residents are having issues with receiving their unemployment benefits. Some are not receiving their benefits right away while others are the victim of fraud. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City says he’s called on the Governor and the Illinois Department of Employment Security to address the issues…



106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.



(Springfield-jm) -- The Salvation Army says it is struggling to raise money for the Red Kettle Campaign. Their goal is to raise $158,000. So far, the Champaign Salvation Army has raised $116,238. They have $41,762 left to raise in less than a week to meet their goal. This year there have been several challenges. Because of the pandemic, there are less red kettles on street corners and store entrances. They’re also noticing an increased need for their service and are expecting to help over 150 percent more people this holiday season.



(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Agriculture announced a new anhydrous ammonia grower training platform available online January 1, 2021. Illinois farmers and any of their employees or family members who help transport or apply anhydrous ammonia are required by state regulation to participate in the mandatory training approved by the Illinois Department of Agriculture. Training must be completed by April 1, 2022. Once completed, growers receive a certificate valid for three years to provide upon request to their anhydrous ammonia retailer. In-person training sessions will begin when state mitigations for Covid-19 determine it is safe to gather in a group setting.

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