WPXN Blog

(Springfield-jm) -- Although COVID-19 numbers are gradually improving, Governor J-B Pritzker says there is no definitive date yet for when indoor dining can resume. Illinois is currently under Tier Three mitigations, and even moving to Tier Two won’t let restaurants and bars resume indoor service. The Governor says the state still needs to see cases and hospitalizations go down in order for those rules to be lifted…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Governor Pritkzer says there will likely be an uptick in COVID infections after the holidays so they don’t want to open everything back up until that’s been assessed.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois is closing in on 16,000 COVID deaths. The state now has 15,969 total deaths and 937,909 total cases after the state reported 3,767 new cases Sunday and 3,293 new cases on Saturday. The state also reported 104 additional deaths Sunday and 66 on Saturday. 4,083 in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 905 patients were in the ICU and 497 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators. The seven day positivity rate is 8.5 percent.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The State Department of Public Health says flu activity in Illinois has been pretty minimal so far. Flu season is underway, but has yet to significantly take hold says State Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike…

 

 

Illinois Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike. Ezike says they expect to see fewer flu hospitalizations and deaths this season because of the COVID safety measures in place.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois’ population in the year that ended July 2020 declined by nearly 80,000, according to data released this week from the U.S. Census. The annual loss is the equivalent of losing the entire city of Bloomington. The state led the nation in declines over the decade, at more than 253,000 people fewer, the equivalent of losing Naperville and Peoria combined.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Paxton is moving forward with their streetscape project. The project was delayed because of the Coronavirus pandemic. Because of the delay, city leaders approved doing a small overcoat of asphalt in the downtown area earlier this fall as a temporary band aid which Mayor Bill Ingold says they now want to try to incorporate into the full project…

 

 

Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold.

 

 

(Iroquois County-jm) -- Two people are dead and two are injured following an accident near Crescent City over the weekend. The accident happened at the intersection of county roads 1400 north and 1500 east. Police say Blake Martell was traveling southbound on 1500 east when he failed to stop at a stop sign and collided with another vehicle. 55-year-old Dominic Smith, and his wife Kimberly Smith, 60 of Woodland, IL, were both ejected out of the vehicle and later pronounced dead at the scene by the Iroquois County Coroner's Office. Martell, along with a 17-year-old juvenile passenger, were also ejected out of their vehicle due to the accident and were airlifted to Carle Hospital. Dominic Smith was a firefighter on the Champaign Fire Department. The accident remains under investigation.


 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Having received its largest cash gift ever from a single donor, the Parkland College Foundation recently awarded 12 new spring 2021 scholarships to Ford County residents. The generous $1.5 million gift, from the estate of C. Paul and Marjorie Davis of Gibson City, came as a surprise in early December to the Foundation, which had no prior connection with the Davises except a passion for education. The first recipients of the Cecil Paul and Marjorie Wilson Davis Scholarship are Katie Johnson, Gowyn Kelly, Allison Heavilin, Ashlyn McPherson, Jadrien Miles, Melissa Walker Salyards, Hannah Hein, Jordan Frederick, Paige Shelton, Lani Crim, Gracie Conover, and Breanna Brokate. The $2,000 awards for the spring 2021 semester will be used for tuition, fees, and/or books.

 

 

(Washington-jm) --  A new USDA report supports the idea that U.S. pork producers are pulling back on production. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker says the state is expanding assistance to child care providers for low income families. The state is pumping another 20 million dollars into efforts to help daycares in the Child Care Assistance Program stay open and to provide a place for parents to take their kids during work hours says the Governor…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Providers can visit the Illinois Department of Human Services’ website for more information.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois’ borrowing of $2 billion to plug the state’s nearly $4 billion budget hole reflects deep challenges for the state, according to Fitch Ratings. The credit rating agency said it anticipates tax increases and budget cuts to be considered, along with continued bill deferrals and fund sweeps. But the agency reiterated it will be difficult for the state to maintain an investment grade credit rating.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- As COVID-19 vaccinations begin, the U-S Surgeon General says everyone must remain vigilant and do their part, even if they feel they aren’t affected by the virus. You may not be too worried about the Coronavirus, but Surgeon General Jerome Adams reminds it is unforgiving and not particular about who it hits…

 


 

U-S Surgeon General Jerome Adams. Adams reminds it’s imperative that everyone does what they can to limit the spread of COVID and reduce the burden on hospitals. He says if facilities are full of patients with the virus, that means there won’t be enough beds for car accident or heart attack victims and others needing care.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 7,060 new Coronavirus cases and 170 deaths over the weekend bringing the state’s total number of cases to 937,909 and deaths to 15,969. 4,083 in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital, 905 patients were in the ICU and 497 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators. The seven day positivity rate is 8.5 percent. We will have the latest numbers from the state tonight on our news at 4 and 5.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The time for real public input on Illinois’ response to COVID-19 is long overdue. The Governor has issued more than 70 executive orders since the pandemic began back in March. 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman says we should not ignore our representative democracy which has served the state well for years…

 

 

53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- A Champaign resident is $25,000 richer after winning a national baking competition. Julianna Jung won this year's "Holiday Baking Championship" on the Food Network. Jung was the only home baker out of the 12 competitors on the show.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Agriculture has registered the following Dicamba products for the use on soybeans for the 2021 growing season: XtendiMax with Vapor Grip Technology, Engenia Herbicide, and Tavium Plus Vapor Grip Technology. The new federal label requirements for these products include: requiring an approved pH-buffering agent, also known as a volatility reducing agent, be tank mixed with dicamba products prior to all applications, requiring a downwind buffer of 240 feet and 310 feet in areas where listed endangered species are located and additional recordkeeping items. A cutoff date of June 20th has been set to apply to soybeans. In addition, the state is also adding additional restrictions including: temperature restriction of 85 degrees Fahrenheit, requirement to consult the Field Watch sensitive crop registry https://www.fieldwatch.com before application, prohibiting application if the wind is blowing toward any Illinois Nature Preserves Commission site that is adjacent to the proposed field of application and  prohibiting application when the wind is blowing toward an adjacent residential area.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The University of Illinois Extension Office is offering some ideas about what to do with your Christmas tree after the holidays. Many communities have a tree pick up or recycling program so that’s always an easy solution says the Extension’s Katie Parker. What about using it as firewood…

 

 

University of Illinois Extension Educator Katie Parker. Parker says the pine needles and boughs can be used as mulch or to protect plants. The whole tree can be left outside and adorned with bird feeders or you can cut up the trunk and use the pieces for trivets, coasters, garden edging and more.

 

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