(Springfield-jm) -- Nearly 97,000 Illinoisans filed for initial unemployment claims last week. The U.S. Department of Labor reports that’s more than 51,000 more than filed the week before. Illinois now has 362,000 insured unemployed individuals, an increase from 330,000 from the week before.



(Springfield-jm) -- This is Human Trafficking Awareness Month and the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services is asking the public to learn the warning signs of trafficking. DCFS Acting Director Marc Smith says child trafficking happens all over Illinois and the average age of victims is 14. Here’s what you can do…



DCFS Acting Director Marc Smith. If you suspect a child is being trafficked, call 9-1-1 and the Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-25-ABUSE.



(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 6,652 new cases and 88 additional deaths Thursday bringing the state’s total number of cases to 1 million 52 thousand 682 and deaths to 17,928. Locally, McLean county reported 32 new cases bringing their total to 12,829. Champaign County reported 70 new cases bringing their total to 15,097. Ford County reported 6 new cases bringing their total to 1,364. Iroquois County reported 10 new cases bringing their total to 2,544. Kankakee County reported 35 new cases and 1 additional death bringing their total number of cases to 11,393 and deaths to 161. Livingston County reported 36 new cases and 1 additional death bringing their total number of cases to 3,540 and deaths to 63.



(Undated-jm) -- The consolidated election will take place April 6th but several area races are taking shape. WPXN’s Jason Madden takes a look at who is on the ballot…




(Gibson City-jm) -- Two schools in the Gibson City Melvin Sibley School District are going remote for the next two weeks. Starting today students at GCMS Middle School and High School will be remote learning through the 22nd. The district says the move comes as a significant number of staff and students are quarantined.



(Ford County-jm) -- The Ford County Public Health Department is answering questions when it comes to the rollout of the COVID vaccine. One of those questions surrounds who gets vaccinated and when says Ford County Public Health Department Community Educator Megan Reutter…



Reutter explains who is eligible to receive the next round of vaccines…



Ford County Public Health Department Community Educator Megan Reutter.


(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois is working to help students in the state complete financial aid applications for the fall. The Illinois Student Assistance Commission is adding initiatives to its college outreach programs. ISAC is extending its support to help address the complications students may face during the coronavirus pandemic, as well as to meet the state's new mandate for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. A law took effect with the 2020-21 school year that requires public high school seniors to fill out the FAFSA, or, if eligible, the Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid, before receiving their high school diploma.



(Springfield-jm) -- As a new Illinois General Assembly begins, the President of the State Senate is touting the emergency of virtual hearings. Last Spring, members of the state Senate adopted a remote meeting rule, letting them hold 32 Zoom hearings over the summer and fall months. Senate President Don Harmon says this has been an unexpected positive to come out of the pandemic…



Senate President Don Harmon. The House did not approve a similar rule so members were not able to meet virtually. A bill letting both chambers act remotely during an emergency did not come up during this week’s lame duck session.



(Undated-jm) -- Illinois now has 1 million 52 thousand 682 cases and 17,928 deaths. As for local active and recovered cases, McLean County reported 11,820 have recovered, 854 are in isolation and 21 are hospitalized. Champaign County reported 14,179 have recovered, 825 are in isolation and 30 hospitalized. Iroquois County reported 2,461 have been released from isolation, 43 remain in isolation and 7 are hospitalized. Kankakee County reported 9,876 have recovered and 1,356 cases are active. Livingston County reported 3,230 have been removed from isolation and 247 cases are active.



(Champaign County-jm) -- The Champaign Urbana Public Health Department held their first COVID vaccination clinic this week with more to come. The county is starting to vaccinate those 75 and older. Champaign Urbana Public Health Department Epidemiologist, Awais Vaid talks about the importance of herd immunity…



Champaign Urbana Public Health Epidemiologist Awais Vaid.


(Ashkum-jm) -- District 21 Illinois State Police have released results of recent patrols. During Occupant Restraint Enforcement Patrols, troopers issued 32 safety belt citations and 1 child restraint citation. During Nighttime Enforcement Patrols, troopers issued 2 drug or alcohol related citations, 4 each for registration and driver’s license violations and 3 for insurance violations.



(Springfield-jm) -- Local reaction from the General Assembly’s passing of a criminal justice reform bill continues to come in. 105th District State Representative Dan Brady reacts to the bill…



105th District State Representative Dan Brady of Bloomington.



(Paxton-cf)-- There are two vaccines on the market currently, and they both require two doses. The dose times vary with the two vaccines after taking the first dose. Hudson Drug and Hallmark Owner Andy Hudson has the details on the times you need to take the second dose as well as if you receive your first dose at Hudson Drug and Hallmark, how they will notify you for your second dose…  



Hudson Drug and Hallmark Owner Andy Hudson.

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