(Springfield-jm) -- Mike Madigan is stepping down from the Illinois House. The former speaker submitted his resignation, effective immediately, saying he is leaving office at peace with his decision and proud of the many contributions he has made to the state. Governor J-B Pritzker wished him well and was asked by reporters if Madigan leaving is a good thing for state government in light of the recent Com-Ed scandal…



Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Madigan served in the Illinois House for 50 years and was the longest serving House Speaker in U-S History. 



(Springfield-jm) -- A legislative commission is upholding new “Culturally Responsible” teaching standards. The new standards pushed by the State Board of Education aims to better prepare teachers for a diverse classroom and to look at how their own biases may affect their instruction. The Board’s Legislative Affairs Director Amanda Elliott says research shows that when students feel included and understood, they are more likely to succeed...



Illinois State Board of Education’s Legislative Affairs Director Amanda Elliott. Opponents argued this is forcing political ideology on teachers. The new standards will take effect in the fall of 2025.



(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 1,966 new Coronavirus cases Thursday and 72 additional deaths bringing the state’s total number of cases to 1,168,683 and deaths to 20,129. Locally, Champaign County reported 50 new cases bringing their total to 17,672. Iroquois County reported 4 new cases bringing their total to 2,761. Ford County reported 12 new cases bringing their total to 1,531. Vermilion County did not have a report Thursday.



(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…




(Savoy-jm) -- Willard Airport is getting some financial relief from the federal government. The Federal Aviation Administration is giving the airport more than $1.3 million in grant funding. The funds will be used for operational expenses, debt service payments, and other costs related to fighting the spread of COVID-19.



(St. Joseph-jm) -- St. Joseph will be getting a village administrator. The village is advertising the position right now through the end of the month. Mayor Tami Fruhling talks about the next steps in the process…



St. Joseph Mayor Tami Fruhling.



(Undated-jm) -- Motorists can blame mother nature, in part, for the impending higher prices at the pump, according to GasBuddy. GasBuddy reports the national average price of gasoline may jump 10-20 cents per gallon over the next two weeks as millions of barrels of refining capacity have gone offline because the extreme cold in the South. GasBuddy expects the national average to hit $3 a gallon by May just as refineries start switching over to EPA-mandated summer-grade gasoline, which costs several cents more per gallon to produce and is partially the reason why pump prices rise in the summer.


The Buckley Sportsman Club will hold a carry out only fish fry tonight from 4-7pm. The meal will be held at the Buckley American Legion. Fish, baked beans and cole slaw will be served. Cost is $10 per meal.


The Iroquois West FFA Chapter will host a drive thru pork chop dinner on Saturday starting at 4pm at the high school parking lot.


(Springfield-jm) -- Mike Madigan is stepping down from the Illinois House. Madigan had served as speaker for 36 years and spent 50 years in the Illinois House. House Deputy Republican Leader Dan Brady of Normal reacts to the news and discusses the new House Speakers role in uniting the state…



Illinois House Deputy Republican Leader Dan Brady of Normal.



(Springfield-jm) -- The state’s hospitality industry is asking for a solid plan to work towards fully reopening. During a virtual Senate Committee hearing, those representing hotels, food service and bars stressed the need for more guidance as Illinois sits in Phase Four of COVID mitigations. That includes Illinois Restaurant Association President Sam Toia, who says current rules need to be revisited...



Illinois Restaurant Association President Sam Toia. Senate committee members want to work with public health officials and industry leaders over the next few weeks to come up with a detailed game plan to transition into Phase Five.



(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 1,966 new Coronavirus cases Thursday and 72 additional deaths bringing the state’s total number of cases to 1,168,683 and deaths to 20,129. As for local active and recovered cases, Champaign County reported 16,901 have recovered, 648 are in isolation and 16 are hospitalized. Iroquois County reported 2,678 have been released from isolation, 25 are in isolation and 1 is hospitalized. Ford County was unable to provide an update on active and recovered cases due to an issue at the state level. Vermilion County did not provide a report Thursday.



(Washington-jm) -- An area Congressman is discussing the recent events in Washington. Former President Donald Trump was acquitted of insurrection over the weekend following the events January 6th. The election, insurrection and subsequent impeachment trial divided the Republican party with some members including Congressman Adam Kinzinger to vote to impeach the 45th President. Kinzinger talks about what the Republican party will have to do in the future…



Congressman Adam Kinzinger of Illinois. Kinzinger was censured by the Iroquois County Republican Central Committee earlier this week because of his vote to impeach the former President.



(Champaign County-jm) -- Champaign County officials will soon be able to get regular Covid-19 tests. The county board passed a resolution that would allow the weekly testing of county departments. $140,000 dollars from the general fund will be used to cover two months of Covid-19 testing for county employees. The tests will be the saliva based tests from the University of Illinois, but the board plans to have OSF administer the tests once they come to an agreement.



(Hoopeston-jm) -- Hoopeston is celebrating their sesquicentennial this summer. To help kick off the event, the group is holding a raffle in March says Spokesperson Brad Hardcastle…



Hoopeston Sesquicentennial Spokesperson Brad Hardcastle. Tickets are available at Mr B’s cafe, Stay Awhile or the Hoopeston City Hall.



(Rantoul-jm) -- Rantoul will honor the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen this weekend. The ceremony will take place on Saturday at 2pm at the intersection of Route 45 and Century Boulevard. In the event of inclement weather, the ceremony will be held inside the Rantoul Business Center. The Tuskegee Airmen were part of the 99th Pursuit Squadron at Chanute Air Force Base. The all black group was then transferred to Tuskegee, Alabama. 



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