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Illinois Department of Employment Security paid out $155 million to Fraudulent Unemployment claims in the first 7 weeks

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinoisans will soon know exactly how much money was paid out in fraudulent unemployment claims during the pandemic. An audit of just the first seven weeks of the federal unemployment programs revealed that the Illinois Department of Employment Security gave about $155 million to fraudsters instead of unemployed Illinoisans.  At that rate over the full 69 weeks of the federal programs, more than $1.528 billion would be given out to fraudsters.



(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker says it’s important that everyone continue to mask up. While some COVID numbers may be holding fairly steady, they aren’t going down. With that in mind, the Governor chastised local officials who aren’t supporting the state’s indoor mask mandate…



Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. As for the latest daily totals, there are over 4,000 new cases and 44 additional deaths. More than 22 hundred COVID patients are in the hospital. One region of the state in Southern Illinois currently has little to no ICU beds available and a few other areas are down to 20 to 30 beds. Locally, Champaign County reported 51 new cases. Vermilion County reported 20 new cases and 3 additional deaths. Ford and Iroquois Counties did not have a report.



(Champaign-jm) -- Champaign Police said they are looking for a teenager connected to an incident at Centennial High School last week. Champaign Police officials said that on September 8, officers went to the high school after getting a report that someone had a gun in the school. A preliminary investigation indicated 18-year-old Pereze Collier, a student at the high school, was in a verbal fight with other students. During the fight, witnesses saw Collier get what appeared to be a gun from his backpack. The gun was not fired. A warrant was issued for Collier’s arrest. Bond was set at $500,000.



(Watseka-jm) -- A candidate for Iroquois County Sheriff has received the endorsement of the county board. Clint Perzee announced he was running to replace retiring sheriff Derek Hagan. The county board announced Perzee will fill the rest of Hagan’s term when he retires at the end of the month.


(Washington-jm) -- How did USDA's recent revisions for soybean acreage and production estimates translate to the September U.S. and global balance sheets? Rod Bain reports…




(Undated-jm) -- Two Illinois universities have been named among the top 10 in the country for 2022, according to the latest rankings from U.S. News & World Report. The annual Best Colleges ranking listed the University of Chicago at No. 6 in the nation. Northwestern University came in at No. 9. Also named on the list was the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, which ranked 47th.



(Champaign County-jm) -- METCAD 9-1-1 is actively seeking individuals interested in helping others to attend an upcoming Virtual Information Session to discuss career opportunities as a Telecommunicator, or Emergency Dispatcher. As a METCAD telecommunicator, one will be required to answer emergency and non-emergency phone calls and provide routine and emergency dispatch for local police, fire, and ambulance services across Champaign County. The session will be held via Zoom at 6 p.m. tonight. 

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Parkland College's Board of Trustees has recognized faculty and staff award winners, received an update on the newest solar array, and approved the college's fiscal year 2022 budget.  At its regular meeting Wednesday, the board also received an update from Vice President for Student Services Michael Trame about recent measures the college has taken relating to COVID-19 and Governor Pritzker's Executive Order for vaccination and testing requirements for higher education.


(Springfield-jm) -- A new analysis puts Illinois near the bottom of the hardest working states in the country. The personal finance website WalletHub looked at more than 10 indicators from average work week hours to the share of workers with multiple jobs to determine the rankings. Illinois was ranked as the 43rd hardest-working state in the nation.


(Urbana-jm) -- Carle Health is hosting community influenza flu vaccine clinics beginning September. 21 through October 7 at various clinic locations throughout central Illinois. A walk-in clinic will also be held at Kohl’s Plaza, 1901 N. Market Street, Champaign on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. during the same time. Clinics will also be held in Danville on September 25 and October 2 from 8 a.m. - 2 p.m.



(Champaign-jm) -- The area's regional school superintendent has announced he will run for re-election in 2022. Gary Lewis has served as the regional school superintendent for Ford and Champaign Counties since he was elected in 2018.



(Washington-jm) -- USDA recently took a look at the growth in recent years of crop insurance products designed for specialty crops and organic produced products. Rod Bain reports…



(Gibson City-jm) -- Gibson city leaders will continue discussions on water rates next week. The water and sewer committee will meet at 5pm on Monday where they will continue discussions on whether to increase rates or not as well as discuss hydrant flushing and a new well.



(Undated-jm) -- The 2021 Mahomet Soda Fest will take place this Saturday in downtown Mahomet. Over 100 craft sodas will be available for tasting and purchasing. That’s not the only local festival taking place this weekend. The 2021 Buckley Fun Day will take place Saturday at Buckley Lake and the 2021 Paxton Swine n Dine BBQ Festival will take place in downtown Paxton.


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