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Unemployment was down for the 5th consecutive month in all Illinois metro areas

(Washington-jm) -- A University of Illinois Sociology professor is lending his thoughts about disinformation to a Congressional subcommittee on the topic. Researchers want to analyze the impact of incorrect information online and expose disinformation campaigns, but they often run into roadblocks getting data from social media companies like Facebook and YouTube, says the U of I’s Kevin Leicht. For example, his team has been studying posts regarding the pandemic...



University of Illinois Sociology Professor Kevin Leicht. Leicht and others testifying at the hearing want Congress to mandate social media platforms release accurate data.



(Springfield-jm) -- A new bill would allow Illinois residents to sue gun manufacturers, dealers, or importers if the guns they produce are responsible for injuries or death in Illinois. Representative Margaret Croke of Chicago filed the bill. Under the Firearms Dealer and Importer Liability Act, also referred to as the Protecting Heartbeats Act, any Illinois resident other than a state or local government officer or employee can sue a gun manufacturer, importer, or dealer if their gun is responsible for injury or death. A settlement would be a minimum of $10,000 in damages for each person injured or killed by the firearm.


(Champaign-jm) -- Parkland College plays a key role in boosting the local Champaign-Urbana and greater Illinois economies, according to a new study from the Illinois Community College Board. The study estimates that, in the last fiscal year, Parkland College's total economic output on the statewide economy was $85.7 million. During this period, Parkland employed 1,024 employees with a total payroll of $37.7 million in wages and benefits. This activity rippled through the state economy, creating 220 additional jobs, boosting payrolls, and promoting other economic activity, according to the study. Parkland College's economic impact is not limited to the local or statewide economy. The study found that more than 80 percent of Parkland's long-term certificate and associate's degree graduates obtained jobs in their career field within one year of graduation. Employment rates improved over time, with 90 percent of graduates employed after 10 years. Parkland Health Professions degree completers saw the highest employment rate at 88.6 percent.


(Undated-jm) -- Unemployment was down for the 5th consecutive month in all Illinois metro areas in August. Locally, Vermilion Counties fell from 8.9 percent to 7.1 percent. Champaign County 7.2 percent to 5.7 percent. Ford County 6.3 percent to 5.1 percent and Iroquois County 5.8 percent to 4.8 percent.



(Gibson City-jm) -- Gibson City leaders are looking to add a new well. The well would be in the Falcon Point subdivision and Drummer Creek. It’s estimated to cost around $1.1 million.


(Springfield-jm) -- A new report looks at the economic impact of community colleges in Illinois. This latest study shows the state’s 48 community colleges remain a solid return on investment for students getting their associates degree. The same holds true for those completing shorter programs says Board Executive Director Brian Durham…



Illinois Community College Board Executive Director Brian Durham. Durham says when comparing earnings one year after completion of a community college program to three years after, African American students saw their pay increase by 47 percent and Latin-X students by 57 percent.



(Springfield-jm) -- The director of a state board that in early 2020 was forced to end a contract with a Democratic activist after his name surfaced in purported government coverups involving a rape and illegal state hiring has been removed from his job. The Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board said on Wednesday that it fired former executive director Brent Fischer earlier this month.



(Rantoul-jm) -- The Community Service Center of Northern Champaign County has been serving the area for 50 years. The current director, Andy Kulczycki has been there for over half that time. He talks about some of the changes he has seen during his time with the group…



Community Service Center of Northern Champaign County Director Andy Kulczyki. A celebration will take place tomorrow evening from 3:30 to 6:30 at Wabash Park in Rantoul.



(Gibson City-jm) -- Two groups are helping flood victims in Gibson City. The Gibson City Rotary Club and Lions Club are delivering new appliances to homes. A flood devastated many homes back in August. The rotary club got $25,000 in grants to help people get back on their feet. Recently they have been giving out washers and dryers. They plan to pass out refrigerators next and they hope they’ll have enough money to give people new freezers.



(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 2,989 new Coronavirus cases Wednesday and 42 additional deaths. Champaign County reported 65 new cases and 1 additional death. Vermilion County reported 60 new cases and 1 additional death. Ford and Iroquois Counties did not have a report.



(Rantoul-jm) -- Capitol improvements are coming to the Rantoul Township High School. One of the projects being looked at is adding HVAC to the last portion not currently climate controlled. Superintendent Scott Amerio says another project they hope to complete over the summer is redoing the track…



Rantoul Township High School Superintendent Scott Amerio. The final project being considered is a $7 million expansion.


(Undated-jm) -- Gas prices have fallen 10.1 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.12 per gallon. The national average price of gasoline has fallen 0.7 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.17 per gallon. 


(Champaign-jm) -- The World famous Harlem Globetrotters will be returning to Champaign. The Globetrotters will be at the State Farm Center on Friday, January 7th at 7pm. Tickets go on sale at 10 am Tuesday, October 5th.


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